vetements’ new collection will feature juicy couture evening dresses and destroyed manolo blahniks
Beginning in the late 80s, Margiela deconstructed and reassembled everyday objects like baseball mitts, playing cards, and party tinsel to create its avant-garde garments. These days, the anonymous cult collective's descendent — Parisian cohort Vetements — is doing something similar with ubiquitous brands and their logos. DHL, Thrasher, Champion, and even Bic have all received a Vetements remix — their distinctive iconography given new life on Paris' hottest runway. But for its show next Sunday, Vetements is doubling down on its collective approach to design: the brand has tapped 18 other companies to produce its entire collection.
In a new interview with Cathy Horyn, Vetements ringleader Demna Gvasalia revealed that his team has worked directly with brands including Juicy Couture, Alpha Industries, and Hanes to produce the forthcoming offering. Inspired by his experience manufacturing Vetements jeans at Italian factories, he "began thinking that the ideal situation would be to work with manufacturers who specialize in each category — whether it's jeans, T-shirt, bomber jacket," Gvasalia said. "We really thought about each garment," Gvasalia says. "What is the first brand that comes to mind when we think about, for example, workwear pants? So we went to Carhartt." Eastpak, Canada Goose, Reebok, Kawasaki, and Comme des Garçons are all involved, too.
The Vetements team created all of the designs — drawing on the brand's more established shapes and silhouettes like hoodies and bombers — using materials from each brand. They then turned manufacturing over to each individual company's facilities. And if you think the brand list gives the game away (Schott and Brioni will contribute motorcycle and tailored jackets, Levi's means classic American denim) think again. Gvasalia and gang, as always, have a few surprises in store. "I love the comfort of it and the trashiness of [Juicy Couture]," Gvasalia says, "but then we wanted to do something elegant with it, so we made evening dresses." When he reached out to Manolo Blahnik with his plan, he told the iconic footwear designer: "we're going to destroy the shoes."
This super-collaboration isn't the only thing about the forthcoming Vetements collection that shakes up fashion's established paradigms. It is the first show to be staged in the brand's new biannual, gender-mixed format, scheduled to align with the pre-collection calendar to extend the main season's shelf life. So whether you're keen to see how these bold revisions to the fashion calendar play out, or how Clara 3000 looks in a ball gown cut from the cloth of your 7th grade mall dreams, the Vetements spring/summer 17 is not to be missed!
Text Emily Manning
Photography Jason Lloyd Evans