VETEMENTS AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR PARIS FASHION WEEK

VETEMENTS AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR PARIS FASHION WEEK

In the months between Vetements’ second collection last September and its third tonight, the design collective headed up by Demna Gvasalia became a semifinalist in the second annual LVMH Prize contest. But if you thought the recognition would get Gvasalia and his gang to go mainstream, think again. Instead, Jared Leto, Kanye West, and the rest of us were in the basement of Paris’ famous gay club Le Depot, the hour edging toward 10 p.m., a distinct scent of bathroom all around us, and not 2 feet between the knees on opposite sides of the runway. Nobody was unhappy to be there. On the contrary, it felt fairly electric in the dank surroundings, a seedy reprieve from the hauteur and polish of much of Paris fashion week.

As for the clothes? An editor who would know declared afterward that this, not Alessandro Michele’s Gucci as the headlines went last week, is what fashion looks like when you take the L train to Bushwick. Brooklyn or Paris, the kids are wearing vintage Levi’s nipped and cropped for a sexy fit, spliced and diced sweats, seriously oversize outerwear, and the occasional welcome-mat skirt. It wasn’t necessarily groundbreaking—Margiela, where Gvasalia once worked, traversed this territory in his day—but it was definitely energizing. The best pieces, deconstructed and reconstructed “Sapeurs-Pompiers” and “Sécurité” T-shirts, looked like they might’ve been sprung in response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks that terrified then unified Paris earlier this year. If we had to call it, we’d say Vetements is a long-shot favorite for the LVMH Prize. But then we wouldn’t be able to come back to Le Depot next season.

It’s rare these days in Paris—or any other fashion capital, for that matter—to see this much edge at a show, and rarer to see it delivered with this much skill. With or without the imprimatur of an awards jury, Vetements is a label to watch.

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