​13 things we learned about demna gvasalia

The Vêtements designer who was recently appointed creative director of Balenciaga gives insight into garment construction, his hands-on research methods and the senseless and wasteful fashion cycle.

by i-D Staff
|
19 November 2015, 4:34pm

Just three collections into the creation of Paris's coolest new label with Vêtements, Demna Gvasalia was announced as Alexander Wang's replacement at Balenciaga. It was a radical appointment by the French house and one that's left the fashion world gripped in anticipation of the direction he'll take the brand. In an interview with WWD, the enigmatic designer opened up, revealing his thoughts on the industry.

He's not trying to change fashion…
"The idea was really to work on a collection that is completely product-oriented, one by one. We select what we like, what kind of garment it is, and we see what creative concept to apply to it in order for it to become new or desirable — something that is kind of 'actuel' for today…We're not trying to push the boundaries of fashion, but just make clothes people want to have."

But he will be changing Balenciaga…
He plans to "further evolve the DNA of the house and, together with the team, write a new chapter in its history."

Fashion is about product, not the dream…
"Fashion used to create a dream: People used to dream about an amazing dress that they will probably never wear in their life, but that created an idea and an illusion…Now it is much more about product, and much more about somebody wanting to have it or wear it."

So let's stay pragmatic…
"For me, fashion is something practical…It's made to be worn rather than change things, otherwise you will be an artist. I think and consider myself more like a dress-making brand."

Former employer Margiela is an influence…
Working there, he learnt about "loving clothes and turning them inside out, seeing how they're made, and being inspired by the actual clothes to make new clothes."

And so is his sociologist friend…
"He asks them about why they wear this particular pair of jeans, what they liked about them, if it's the high waist or the low waist, if they feel better in it because you know, all those things are very important to consider when you make clothes, how people are feeling in them."

He's baffled by the fashion cycle…
"You know we deliver winter in July; it doesn't make any sense…It's just so confused that I feel something needs to happen to find a new mechanism or system to work because it is a lot of money wasted as well, on development, on selling things we don't really need."

Enjoys a multitude of influences…
"I feel like today people are more in this individual approach and they want to be different from other people…I discovered Goth at the same time as hip-hop and rave and all those things that have nothing to do with each other, but it was all the same time period."

Though seen as radical by many, he insists…
"We play by the same rules."

As well as showing in a gay sex club…
He's cast escorts in his shows.

He wants to show a full menswear collection, but…
"It's a little complicated because men's wear buyers are not there and they don't have budget, but our clothes are quite unisex most of the time, but they're more suited on women."

Being an indie label (Vêtements not Balenciaga) isn't easy…
The two biggest challenges for a brand like ours is cash flow and production. If that works, then fashion is a happy place for us," he says. "The ambition is really to continue making clothes that people want to have, that they wear from season to season."

He's inspired by the new gen…
"Suddenly there are parties outside in abandoned factories, and music you don't normally hear in clubs…It's a new generation of people who grew up in Paris and are now in their 20s and they kind of do things in their own way. These Europeans are different from their parents' generation, and I think that brings energy."

For the full interview, head here.

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Fashion
Balenciaga
vetements
demna gvasalia
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