The Church of Vetements Grows

ELLE UK Fashion Director Anne-Marie Curtis on why the collective feels so hot right now


Vetements, the critically adored collective, has been a big topic here in Paris and not just because its founder and Head Designer, Demna Gvasalia, is now the Creative Director of Balenciaga as well.

It's fair to say the buzz around the brand has arguably been unprecedented given how young it is (it presented its first line in AW14) and how much impact the collective has had since, including a starring appearance on the April 2016 subscribers' cover of ELLE UK. 


You could argue this is possibly a case of Demna and company being at the right place at the right time. But this isn't buzz around a brand no one is wearing. Exhibit A: the denim du jour, a sold-out hit that has been inescapable on the street this season. Exhibit B: the AW16 show itself, which was held in an American Cathedral full to the rafters with key editors, buyers, stylists and countless excited young art and fashion students. It was literally the church of Vetements.


The question on everyone's mind, though: would Vetements live up to our expectations? And what exactly makes the collective feel so hot right now?

From the first look that came storming down the catwalk, or rather between the lines of the church benches, it was clear Vetements was going to move its message forward in its own way. Yes, the much-imitated hooded sweatshirts and THOSE jeans were still there. But it was the oversized men's shirts, reimagined trench coats and velvet trouser suits with raised shoulders that had us plotting out our next-season Wardrobe as we watched.


The key takeaway from the show? Put simply, there's an urgency to the clothes that taps into the zeitgeist. It makes us all want to be part of the moment and join in with this alternative vision of fashion.
Take away the angry slogan T-shirts (who wants to wear a top with 'F***ing A**hole' on it anyway?) and you have a line-up of really covetable, grown-up clothes that will make you want to part with your money.

The clothes were wearable, yes. But most notably, they captured the general mood: that of brokenness. Out of this collective uneasiness, Vetements has created something beautiful, desirable and essentially in tune with the times we're living in.

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