Vetements Spring/Summer 2020
Fashion Against Capitalism, Mockery Against Luxury, Vetements Against The Wide World Consumerism In His Spring/Summer Men’s Collection
When I watch every new Vetements collection, the first and foremost impression always appears to be a disgust. There are several questions to be out: why? What is this? How to wear this? What Demna took and who will purchase it? All my promises to myself to be objective and examine fashion – especially seasonal collections and following trends – as a business, which will earn millions of dollars next quarter, not as an art-object or beauty aesthetic, collapse overnight, turning me into an amateur critic rejecting anything that doesn’t fit his standards of “I like”. Demna Gvasalia refuses exclusivity and glamour’s pompousness, tells his own stories – soulful and social-acute, complains about his mirthless childhood and gets mad at the wide world, expressing this anger by means of his clothing.
And here I am, just saying “phew”. Although, my opinion no one would consider as relevant.
No one forces to love or admire Vetements – it might be easily hated, scoffed and be puzzled, what I’m actually affected by in relation to this brand because the quantity of love in me to it is equal to the quantity of originality in Michael Kors’s collections – almost zero. But the dose of respect to Demna Gvasalia is needed to be expressed in some ways. His first emergence in 2014 on the stage of the fashion industry was accompanied by an explosion, fireworks and a volley of applause that wasn’t meant to quiet down still for a couple of years when overall “demnisation” that took over the world reached its climax. Even then Demna stated himself as a designer, who challenges the established fashion system, which already had its unspoken rules that were never told out loud, but was well-known by everyone. He cancelled shows, threw real-fake market pop-ups, flew in the face of society and wasn’t ashamed to express defiant statements in Cyrillic printed onto his hoodies. And exactly this kind of approach, offbeat philosophy and rebellious point of view on what fashion of the new generation must be, which has no rules and doesn’t obey the opinion of others, turned Gvasalia into one of the first players in the industry.
Honestly, for such “merits”, he can even be partially forgiven for Balenciaga, whose great heritage Demna turned into a more luxury doppelgänger of his own brand.
Spring-summer Vetements collection show took place a quite unconventional place to be held as a space for clothes presentation, yet very eloquently reflecting society and 21st-century values – in the biggest McDonald’s branch in Paris, on the Champs-Elysées. Such a ridiculous contrast at the junction of two worlds: the world of chic and French gloss meets a rude reality, in which ordinary people get to live. Even invitations as branded package condoms are considered to be the next Vetements style sneer, as well as a collection overview in small notes stamped onto napkins that appeared to become a real cry of the soul towards the capitalism that totally enslaved our lives.
While guests were drinking cola from paper cups, the runway was flooded by malnourished male models in flip flops with painted toenails and french fries as the main accessory, showing off all the facets of the modern workwear. He wasn’t afraid to make fun of police uniform, adding a Vetements logo and enlarging it to extreme oversize, his McDonald’s manager uniform, whose left breast pocket was decorated with a sticker “Hello capitalism», was literally soaked in an evil irony, meanwhile an oversize hoodie with a PlayStation logo turned into PayStation, as if hinting about our dimensionless consuming.
It couldn’t be complete without neckties, where rephrased “Global Mind Fuck” emblem became a perfect – real – definition of the Swiss non-profit World Economic Forum; without anger embodied in an embroidered German word «Böse” on the chest of the denim racer costume; without a well-known logo of the beer Heineken, which was renamed to Vetements onto a sweatshirt. And Demna didn’t forget about Vodafone’s famous red logo, drawing a frisky heart instead of its inverted comma. As well as he never forgot to gloat over the beaten tourist clichés, including famous “I love Paris… Hilton» to produce as many giggles as it was possible. And it seems to be pretty easy to get offended, after all, who doesn’t have this kind of t-shirt or hoodie, but, let’s face it, how truthfully modern reality is described, so there is not even a thing to get mad at Demna.
While other designers still attempt to maintain a deceptive wrap of exclusivity and luxury, where everything is fine and there are no problems noticed, Gvasalia wants us to think about what kind of world we are living in and what the industry has become. And no matter what I will never put his clothes on and still consider it with a slight of a “phew” in a matter of aesthetic, I feel timid respect for him once again for being one of many who isn’t indifferent. Indeed, someone is better than no one.