Vetements Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Paris Fashion Week
The Gvasalia brothers, Demna, the designer, and Guram, the business brains behind the Vetements phenomenon, pulled off a coup for the fashion credibility of Paris with a show in the Galeries Lafayette tonight. On many levels, it was an event which satirically contravened half a dozen arcane regulations of what is supposed to be the correct way for a label to operate. It was a collection made entirely with other brands, including Brioni, Schott, Levi’s, Comme des Garçons Shirt, Reebok, Canada Goose, Dr. Martens, Alpha Industries, Eastpak, Lucchesse, and Manolo Blahnik. It was both women’s and menswear, and it was magnanimously welcomed by the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture as the big ta-da opener of couture week. Yet it was so far from being traditional haute couture that it was shown, cheekily, in a department store—during regular hours, at that.
Twisting the conventions in terms of pre-existing generic garments—hoodies, trench coats, bomber jackets, jeans—is always Demna Gvasalia’s thing, and this was just one giant logical step further along that path. “We thought we’d go straight to the brands who make all these things best, and ask to do something in our way with each one,” he said. “The people who work at Vetements don’t really wear designer fashion—a lot of these are the labels they wear all the time.” The brands, from Mackintosh in Scotland to Lucchesse cowboy boot manufacturers in Texas, were approached by his CEO brother who set the legal and logistical negotiations to do with manufacturing, joint labelling, and selling. The clothes will mostly be made by the individual brands’ own specialist factories. “I’m explaining it to retailers that this is not one collection, but 18, which they will receive in different drops throughout the season.”