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Love it or hate it, Vetements is here to stay. The fashion crowd, including longtime fan Kanye West, flocked to the The American Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Paris today to take in the label's latest presentation, which was notably modeled by an entirely white cast.
The fall 2016 collection from new Balenciaga creative director Demna Gvasalia and his anonymous design collective (it's worth noting, a Maison Margiela alum) features the first menswear effort from a brand that has never seemed particularly concerned with making gender-specific clothing. However, it's clear that thinking about menswear influenced the designs as a whole.
The womenswear looks that kicked off the show featured unevenly cut suit jackets, oversized button-up shirts, and camel trench coats — just in case Vetements customers want to dress for some bizarro Mad Men universe. One of the label's most buzzy designs is its $1,300 hoodie, and it continues to pump out more of its hallmark style here. There's no telling how much Vetements' stans will pay for a boxy sweatshirt with the text "You Fuck'n Asshole," a turtleneck that reads "Are We Having Fun Yet?," or sets of hoodies and sweats printed with the phrase "Sexual Fantasies".
On the whole, this feels like a much more commercially viable collection than the label's past efforts. It's easy to see the plaid mini dresses, velvet suiting, gold topcoats, T-shirts with anarchic slogans and imagery, bomber jackets, sweatsuits, tracksuits, and thigh-high boots hanging on the rails — at least for a second before customers are rushing them to the checkout counter — in department stores and boutiques alike.
Fans of Vetements' weirder side — after all, it's the brand that threw Star Wars skirts down the runway — will still find colliding floral and Ed Hardy-esque patterns, a Western-style shirt so structured it looks like the model is wearing a muscle suit underneath, and clothes printed with the fit-for-a-hashtag "justin4ever." Which Justin, though? Bieber? Timberlake? New Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau? We want answers!
Gvasalia says that Vetements' clothes are made by his friends and for his friends. This feels especially true with this collection, so much of which could be pulled directly off the runway and assembled into what would be a cool and on-trend outfit. Still, some qualities that speak to this "real" design aesthetic, such as jackets with pockets that were purposefully modeled with the outrageously large iPhone 6 Plus, toe the fine line between fashion and the gimmicks (see: sweatshirts that can morph into hoodies) Vetements has been accused of before.
Vetements goes to church, brings velvet, hoodies pic.twitter.com/SJWXUAEGmA— Matthew Schneier (@MatthewSchneier) March 3, 2016
Vetements A/W16 pic.twitter.com/9UggZEJqpW— Mitch Grassi (@mitchgrassi) March 3, 2016
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