demna gvasalia of vetements proclaims "eastern europe is over"
He also explains the reason behind the incredibly long sleeves and oversized proportions of his designs.
photography jason lloyd evans
Ever wondered why Vetements sleeves are so long, or the thinking behind the strangely proportioned and oversized aesthetic? Demna Gvasalia, the creative director behind the much-referenced baggy looks, has revealed that the style has its origins in his childhood wardrobe growing up in Georgia. The designer, and Balenciaga creative director, tells WWD in a new interview that clothes were so scarce under Soviet rule, that people bought garments several sizes too big, in order to grow into them.
"My whole wardrobe was like this. My jackets were always too big for me because they were supposed to last for two or three years," he says, adding "I think the reason why I like those kind of proportions and shapes is very linked to that". In the same interview, however, Demna pronounces that "Eastern Europe is over for me," noting that he is also done with the aesthetics of the 'underground'. "I personally want to move on from there and to use other tools in my creative approach, which is more analytical, which is more based on really observing the way we dress, what we wear, why we wear it," he explains, commenting that "It's less subculture and more about product design".
After the explosion of Vetements onto the fashion scene, and Demna's sudden rise to the helm of Balenciaga, the designer reveals his mechanisms for dealing with such a packed schedule: "Every morning I do meditation for one hour to start the day from zero, with a white page, and it does work," he says. "I started it not so long ago and I was quite skeptical about it. It takes some time to learn it, but it does work. Holistic fashion. It helps to calm the mind. It's kind of a new tool."
Demna Gvasalia has been chosen to receive the International Award at the CFDA Awards on the 5 June. Of the award, he tells wwd, "I'm probably the worst critic of myself and my work. To get this prize, it's soothing".
Read more: The secret history of the hoodie
Text Charlotte Gush
Photography Jason Lloyd Evans