vetements trolled us all with an anti-capitalist show inside the biggest mcdonald’s in paris
Ba da ba ba ba, we’re lovin’ it.
The Vetements spring/summer 20 show might just have been the most Vetements thing we’ve ever seen. From the branded condom invitation, through to the show notes which were stamped onto a napkin, to showing in a branch of McDonald’s on the Champs-Elysées, Demna Gvasalia turned the dial up to 11. Even the napkins hinted at what was to come: ‘Kapitalism’, ‘Global Mind Fuck’, and ‘Böse’, which translates from German as ‘angry’.
The clothes, meanwhile, consisted largely of manipulated workwear in the most literal sense — think security guard jackets to McDonald’s manager uniforms — followed by fun-poking takes on familiar company logos, where PlayStation became PayStation, and the Internet Explorer ‘E’ became ecstasy. There were also a number of tongue-in-cheek takes on tourist tat, which included ‘I love Paris… Hilton’, to provide the LOLs. In typical Demna style, the everyday was memed as models picked at fries and the fashion set slurped on Coke or milkshakes.
Since its launch in 2014, Vetements have continually challenged the fashion system from the inside. Whether they're cancelling shows or throwing real-fake market pop-ups, the now Zurich-based brand has always looked to dismantle the industry’s exclusionary structures and stimulate deep thought around fashion’s status quo and future. And building on last season’s celebration of fuck-the-system internet nerds, this season Demna has outfitted his disaffected youth with a two fingers up to the corporate world, on a site repeatedly targeted during Paris’ gilets jaunes protests. The activism may have faded from the streets but the anger remains -- and here, the clothes said it all.
From the show opening with a red baseball cap embroidered with "For Rent" in white block letters to the closing looks that featured a ‘Nobody, Everybody, Anybody, Somebody’, this was a collection that forced us to think and to look, both at the industry and the wider world. Vetements’ reimagined emblem for the Swiss non-profit World Economic Forum said it best: ‘Global Mind Fuck.’ This was a uniform for the sociopolitical shitshow that is 2019.
Photography Mitchell Sams