The checked backdrop of Vetements’s spring 2022 collection will be familiar to Photoshop users.
It’s the background against which graphic designers do their work, and it offers a hint as to what’s on cofounder Guram Gvasalia’s mind.
On a Zoom call from Zurich, he said he’s been thinking a lot about our digital existence: “I started to ask myself: What is reality today? We live in this 2D world; the question is, when you scroll through Instagram, is it photoshopped or is it real?” Here’s another one: “Do we consume the internet or does it consume us?”
Public opinion may be souring on Silicon Valley, but its digital products have us more firmly in their grip than ever.
The pandemic deepened our connections with our computers and smartphones, even as we longed to reacquaint ourselves with nature. That tug of war plays out in these 129 looks. The jumbled wires of server farms and a computer font straight out of The Matrix (a timely reference, with The Matrix 4 due out at Christmas) mix with pixelated salamanders and flower prints so bright they almost glow. For every shell suit there was a siren-y gown, and logo-stamped jeans were dressed up with a seriously sharp double trench.
And the slogan tees and hoodies are cleverer than ever; “The Devil Doesn’t Wear Prada” example, Gvasalia said, is an idea he pinned to his mood board some time ago, for a would-be collaboration.
A flame print that appeared on a wrap dress and matching boots, among other sportier pieces, was reprised from the brand’s last time on the runway, circa fall 2020. There are no glitches in this system, but the truth is one or two might not go amiss.
The raw energy of a Vetements show has been integral to the brand’s success from its start.
The problem with 2D? It’s not 3D. Gvasalia seemed enthused about the prospect of returning to the runway post-pandemic. “We are 100% going back the moment we can travel,” he promised. Apropos of that, a couple of sweaters bore the German word freilandhaltung. Gvasalia said it has a neat double meaning: “free range” and “free mind.”