Vetements is the brand the fashion set can't get enough of. Whether it's editors in the front row in the sell-out hoodies and booties, teen fanatics saving up for the must-have reworked denim or the endless copies on the high street, Vetements, spearheaded by designer Demna Gvasalia, has been the hot word on everyone's lips for the past 18 months. And yesterday the brand du jour upped the ante again, presenting their latest collection on the couture fashion week schedule. Couture is famously the most luxurious, expensive and decadent showcase in the fashion calendar and one of the more archaic and traditional occasions on the industry schedule too. But last night, the dynamic collective brought couture firmly into 2016 with a show bursting with creative energy and innovation, their ever-present irony, and a raging thrash metal soundtrack. Held on the shop floor at the Parisian department store, Galeries Lafayette (invitations were store directory pamphlets) Vetements collaborated with 18 brands, deconstructing and reimagining classics from an array of household labels from Juicy Couture and Levi’s to Comme des Garçons, Reebok, Eastpak and Manolo Blahnik. The collective brought a unique vision to couture, which typically sees ornate gowns and magnificent creations, meticulously made by artisans with price tags of hundreds of thousands of pounds. "For us, the couture approach is to use the know-how of these manufacturers," Gvasalia explained to WWD. "For example, Schott does the best biker jacket. We want to keep working with them as it’s an interesting way to grow." The un-couture couture show presented Vetements' SS17 collection that would normally be shown during Paris Fashion Week in October, but Demna & co chose to subvert the established fashion week schedule – just as they have subverted and twisted the ordinary with their designs, reworking everything from a DHL T-shirt and Justin Bieber tour merchandise to a Juicy Couture tracksuit transformed into evening wear in this latest collection. Also bear in mind that by bringing the show forward to July, the guerrilla-collective-meets-fashion-house had three months instead of six months to design and create the collection.
As we might expect from the brand that has rapidly formed a recognisable house aesthetic, the 55-look collection centred on deconstruction and oversized silhouettes. There were twisted shirts, tailored blazers, huge Canada Goose puffer jackets, mackintoshes, hip-skimming boots for boys and girls, billowing overalls and sheer, gathered gowns. And to complete the looks, together with Manolo Blahnik, Demna developed a kitten heel slingback, court shoes that tied at the ankle, ankle boots, thigh highs and show-stopping waist high waders. "I am excited about collaborating with Vetements," the shoe designer explained in a press release. "They are sweet boys. I think it is of the moment to mix different brands and wear them the way you want. I like the freedom of that, hence why I was intrigued and said yes when they approached me. Showing at Galeries Lafayette is fun, I like that – fashion shows have become so boring. What they are doing is very clever and new." We couldn't agree more, Manolo.