A year of living in lockdown has more people convinced that we might, in fact, be living in a simulated reality. It’s a theory embraced by thought leaders like Elon Musk and explored in last year’s documentary “A Glitch in the Matrix.”
It seems the Vetements team has been doing its share of headscratching, too. The label’s spring collection explored the boundaries between human and machine, with prints including the green computer code that represented the virtual reality environment of the “Matrix” movies.
“Wires have become the only way for us to stay connected to the outside world and the reality we live in. Are we becoming wires ourselves? How many steps are left until we become computerized, until we become machines?” the collection notes asked.
Patterns were designed to scramble the senses: a lilac wrap dress with an acid-yellow flower print was paired with Op-Art print boots, while a photo print on a tailored pajama engulfed the body in spookily realistic flames. (It’s one way to liven up those endless Zoom meetings.)
The Zurich-based brand has embraced techniques like 3D modeling and surface treatments such as dipping materials in liquid metal. But it’s also keen to underline its eco-conscious credentials: new fabrics were developed from sustainably produced fibers and threads, while a Gothic script sweatshirt proclaimed “Freilandhaltung,” the German word for free range farming.
Conscious that many people are still working from home, Vetements offered a mix of tailoring with looser-fitting clothes, though shoulder pads banned any semblance of slouch. Gray suits were covered in the kinds of doodles usually found on the margins of schoolbooks, while all-black outfits channeled the sleek allure of “Matrix” heroes Neo and Trinity.
If we’re all just players in a giant simulation, might as well look the part.