A police woman, a gypsy, a pensioner, a couch potato, a metal head, a bride, a secretary, a tourist and a chav: these were just a few of the personalities that took to the Vetements Fall/Winter 2017 runway.
Entitled Stereotypes, the zeitgeist brand cleverly managed to add a new layer to its aesthetic and prove that actually Vetements can be worn by more than just die-hard fans and fashion folk: it can be worn by all of the above and more. The hooligan, the bouncer, the volunteer, the social worker, the emo – there were a whole host of stereotypes here, their style repurposed the Vetements way.
So, yes, while these looks did epitomise their prescribed personalities, as they wandered past you’d see that the denim jacket was actually two sewn together, one inside-out and hugging the back, it’s front as usual. And classic macs, something of a Vetements staple, were festooned with scarves. Product pieces were reworked. It wasn’t about inventing something new, but more about the casting – so this was a diverse catwalk, from “nerd” to “granny” and each looking as stylish as the other, but very much a la Vetements, which means a healthy dose of attitude and intimidation. But it worked well to show the clothes on this motley crew because Vetements, despite its high fashion selling price, has always been anchored in a relevance and reality; the clothes designed for and worn by those that make and hang out with the brand. And that can be anyone. The “neighbour” never looked so cool – who knew he had it in him?! Exactly.
We weren’t necessarily seeing anything new in terms of the clothes themselves – puffas, bombers, macs, hoodies – but we didn’t necessarily need to. Because fashion is all about context. And that’s something that Vetements is very good at understanding.
For example, look what it’s done in the past year or more: taken over fashion; set the precedent; set the zeitgeist and launched no end of wannabes who we saw attempting the look during menswear this past couple of weeks. But Vetements is clever and ahead of the game and by eschewing the usual schedule last “season” to show during Couture week put itself and its look out there before anyone else. And that’s clever. Because come the season of shows it was traditionally meant to have shown at, there will be distinct nods to what we have already seen. Agenda-setting is part of its DNA.
Sure, some will argue that perhaps this collection wasn’t anything new and fashion eyes tire quickly, not to mention a saturated copycat landscape going on right now. But then it’s highly likely that Vetements won’t care about that anyway, it has a loyal following and still exudes the cool factor, which if the aforementioned is true will only be enhanced.
Certainly Demna seems to have a voyeuristic eye right now – his menswear collection for Balenciaga stepped into the corporate world, which is perhaps why this one was much more back in the real world, and every type of one at that. Fancy being someone else for the day? Then why not. This looks like a fun way to do it while ultimately still being Vetements.