Vetements Effect: Fashion Disruptors

Everyone’s talking about that brand – the “anonymous” collective of designers so determined to screw up the system that it has found itself ruling it, all the while garnering every stamp of approval from the fashion elite. We know that Demna Gvasalia is head designer and his brother Guram Gvasalia, marketer. Everyone else remains unknown. It is enlightening to witness rebels triumph in the traditionalist fashion capital of Paris.

The team at Vetements (pronounced vet-mahn) are basically fun-loving, successful and smart LVMH Prize-nominated trolls. Few are taken seriously, and even fewer manage to penetrate fashion’s outrageous barriers of entry. But the group has garnered just the right amount of experience to navigate the industry. Gvasalia has worked for both Marc Jacobs and Nicolas Ghesquière at Louis Vuitton and Maison Martin Margiela, respectively – the latter a house that the team heralds and whose influence is clearly visible in Vetements’ designs. Tower hanger belts, rogue hoodie dresses, exaggerated shoulder pads and hunchbacks from this season are things Margiela himself would do.

Vetements Fashion Show Fashion Week, Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2016 Collection in Paris
Vetements Fashion Show Fashion Week, Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2016 Collection in Paris

A genderless, don’t-give-a-damn aesthetic like Vetements’ is painfully easy – yet difficult – to recreate. It is the “fashion but not fashion” thing an entire league of new fashion designers is doing. The Public School designers Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow are bringing a genderless ’90s vibe with DKNY. Jacquemus is also in on the movement, departing from its signature cutesy cut-out silhouettes. In a classic case of “trickling up”, Eckhaus Latta, Shan Huq, Off White and Yeezy are other notable streetwear brands that have filled the high-fashion vacuum. In fact, if these brands did not exist, Vetements would not make much sense.

This article was first published in L’Officiel Singapore.