Cloth­ing brand breaks all the rules

The Myanmar Times - - Pulse -

REBEL brand Vete­ments sent fash­ion into a spin on July 3 with an haute cou­ture show that broke all the rules, ap­pro­pri­at­ing clothes and shoes from 17 other brands and re­cut­ting them in its own ir­rev­er­ent neoSoviet street style.

The most talked-about brand in fash­ion had been in­vited to show as a guest in the elite, uniquely Parisian events, seen as the pin­na­cle of ex­clu­sive made-to-mea­sure cloth­ing.

But in­stead of bow­ing to cou­ture’s near cen­tury-long tra­di­tion of hand­made artistry, Vete­ments called in brands as di­verse as Levi’s, Mack­in­tosh and Bri­oni to sup­ply them with their trade­mark gar­ments which they then re­made.

The re­sult was an at­ten­tion-hog­ging show that left few in­dif­fer­ent.

So­cial me­dia was abuzz af­ter­wards with the red velour track­suits with “Juicy” picked out in crys­tals across the bum, gi­gan­tic dun­ga­ree-aprons and hood­ies with shrunken hoods.

The show be­gan with the over­sized jack­ets that have be­come Vete­ments’ call­ing card, re­plete with their over­long “go­rilla sleeves”.

Then de­signer Demna Gvasalia rolled out a se­ries of jar­ring, eye­catch­ing new tropes, pulling up his peren­nial thigh-high boots so they some­times reached to the waist and be­yond.

He even seemed to be try­ing to cre­ate a pre­vi­ously un­charted eroge­nous zone half­way be­tween the navel and the ster­num by pulling di­a­mond-shaped peep holes in his Comme des Gar­cons shirts.

Also strik­ing was how Ge­or­gian­born Gvasalia – who fans hail for de­fy­ing the “sys­tem” – set out to blur the dif­fer­ence be­tween high- and low-end brands with Dr Martens boots and Manolo Blah­nik stilet­tos shar­ing the same run­way.

“The idea was to work with brands and their spe­cialised sup­pli­ers,” he told re­porters back­stage af­ter the show.

“Vete­ments un­sub­scribes to the dif­fi­cult pro­duc­tion cy­cle that has been forced upon many de­sign­ers,” the la­bel said in a state­ment, re­fer­ring to the pun­ish­ing turn­around times cre­ators in­creas­ingly must ad­here to.

“Trail­blaz­ing brands – trend­set­ters of their time – are still rel­e­vant to­day. Not only be­cause of their ac­claimed de­signs, but also be­cause of years of per­fect­ing ma­te­rial and pro­duc­tion meth­ods,” it added.

While many ques­tioned whether Vete­ments’ spring men and women’s show was re­ally haute cou­ture, few doubted that it was shock to the in­creas­ingly fre­netic fash­ion sys­tem which has seen many de­sign­ers com­plain of burnout.

Un­like most of their peers who pro­duce sev­eral col­lec­tions, Vete­ments – founded by 35-year-old Gvasalia and his younger brother Gu­ram only two years ago – make only two a year so their clothes can spend longer in the shops.

But in one cru­cial re­spect the Gvasalias did bow to pres­sure. Hav­ing been pil­lo­ried for the lack of black faces in their pre­vi­ous shows, this one was more di­verse, prompt­ing Elle mag­a­zine’s Kenya Hunt to tweet, “Nice to fi­nally see some peo­ple of colour on the Vete­ments run­way”.

An­other post-Soviet cre­ator also im­pressed on July 3, with the Kazakh de­signer Ulyana Sergeenko us­ing sus­pender belts worn over clothes to sym­bol­ise “Khrushchev’s thaw” in the 1960s.

In the two other highlights of the open­ing day, Donatella Ver­sace un­veiled an un­typ­i­cally de­mure 1950s in­flu­enced col­lec­tion of shim­mer­ing gowns that still man­aged to show off the legs.

And Yuima Nakazato – best known for his creations for the singer Lady Gaga – be­came the first Ja­panese de­signer to show in haute cou­ture for more than a decade.

His fu­tur­is­tic feath­ery en­sem­bles used coloured lay­ers of PVC cut by ma­chine and then “treated as origami”.

“Com­bin­ing tech­nol­ogy with craft­man­ship could be the fu­ture of cou­ture,” he said af­ter­ward.

Pho­tos: AFP

A model rocks Vete­ments’ sig­na­ture coat, with ex­tra-long go­rilla sleeves.

Vete­ments de­signer Demna Gvasalia also show­cased his peren­nial thigh-high boots, some­times as high as the mod­els’ waists.

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