Vetements dives into the dark
Following the departure of Demna Gvasalia, announced in September of last year, Vetements has started writing a new chapter for itself. Having lost its iconic designer, the high-end ready-to-wear street brand, which has been shaking up the fashion world over the last few years, wanted to give the impression that it has been assimilated by the fashion system this season, hosting a celebrity runway. Except that these stars soon revealed themselves to be lookalikes, from top model Kate Moss in a lurex mini dress to rapper Snoop Dogg, via Uma Thurman à la Pulp Fiction.
To make it all a bit more believable, the show took place in total darkness. In keeping with its underground spirit, the label created buzz for its show by sending out mysterious mini torches instead of invitations. In fact, the necessary information about the show could only be found by switching on the torch, written in its beam of light.
On the night itself, the brand's guests found themselves huddled at the end of a dilapidated passageway in Paris' 11th arrondissement, waiting at the entrance to a dark garage. Upon entering, the word "Vetement" could be seen freshly painted on the wall in large capital letters, faintly illuminated by a dim light.
The audience was ushered into a pitch-black room and placed in their seats, as smartphone screens flickered here and there in the darkness. Before the start of the show, which began about an hour late, a woman's voice gave a "security announcement," which consisted of telling the spectators to turn on the light of their own telephones to be able to watch the runway.
The show flew by, with more than 80 looks modelled by a cast that had been carefully selected to represent the brand's multiple facets. And then, at the end of it all, the spell was broken. The lights came on, completely dispelling the mystery. The models were not, in fact, the celebrities they appeared to be, and Vetements could be seen in a whole new light.
The enormous collection brought together and reinterpreted some of the brand's most successful pieces, including pumps integrated into tights, vintage floral dresses, thigh-high boots, maxi skirts and hoodies. But everything seemed to be more well mannered, or watered down, deprived of the outlandish volumes and quirky twists that the label has become known for.
Some pieces even seemed classic – perhaps another provocation – with little woollen coats, suits, leather trenches and maxi puffer jackets all displaying perfectly reasonable proportions.
Everything hung on the details and a few star pieces, many of which could be found among the accessories, which are no doubt destined for success. Highlights included the maxi wader-style thigh-high boots for men, as well as another flaming pair, with feet that seemed to be catching fire. The jeans with the word "censored" stamped over the fly will surely find their audience too, as will the leather handbags that did a very convincing job of imitating brown paper bags.
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