De-cluttering is on the minds of more consumers, and some forward-thinking designers this season. Vetements, which has urged people to buy less by displaying heaps of unwanted clothing in department store windows, seems to be on this wavelength, unveiling a fall collection that was cleaned up and noticeably more luxurious — even in the near dark.
Cheeky as ever, Vetements instructed guests to flick on their cell-phone flashlights in order to view angry-looking models hurtling themselves through narrow rows of benches set in a vast industrial warehouse. In that dim setting, facsimiles for Kate Moss, Snoop Dogg, Naomi Campbell, Angelina Jolie and others had guests giggling and wondering, was it really them?
This was an important moment for Vetements: the first show since its creative leader and cofounder Demna Gvasalia stepped down from his role, and at a time when so many are sounding the death knell for streetwear, the global juggernaut Gvasalia almost single-handedly ignited when he stormed onto the fashion scene in 2014.
The design team did a commendable job keeping the flame alive — and illuminating a possible new path for the brand, rooted in classic tailoring, a more dressed-up attitude and less obvious branding. Sure there were hoodies and slogans in Gothic script — even on the gloomy bride that closed the display — along with enormous puffer jackets, fireman coats and those Frankenstein shoulders. But there were also superb topcoats, lush shearling jackets, chic trench coats and elegant lace and satin evening gowns and separates.
Deemed by many fashion experts one of the last decade’s most influential designers, Gvasalia had a knack for giving basic garments a new attitude and underground frisson via cut, proportion and wry humor. That some of the fall clothes looked edgier and more distinctively Vetements whisking through the dark than during the fully lit finale is something to ponder.
As for you, fake Kate, bravo! You really had us going.