Vintage News | Vetements Crashes Couture on Its Own Terms

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Photo: Alessandro Garofalo / Indigital.tv


Editor's note: Its always interesting to see what houses are being added to the Couture schedule and I have to say that I did not see this one coming. I suspect that the recent appointment to Balenciaga swayed their decision as well and perhaps it's a bit of brilliant PR to have what is by all accounts one of the hottest "young" labels bring a more youthful eye to the couture shows. I have to say I am looking forward to it myself. It will definitely make for an interesting addition to the Haute Couture chart we have mapped out here... xx Cherie


Vetements has become such a fundamental fashion lodestone that it seems preposterous to consider that it is only four seasons old. The Gvasalia brothers–led, post-Margielian anti-fashion collective has sped from the margins of the industry straight to center stage, and today that star billing was confirmed by its inclusion in the July couture calendar in Paris.

So . . . Vetements does couture? Not quite. Shortly after the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture revealed it had elected the label as a guest member of French fashion’s apex club, a Vetements spokesperson clarified.

It seems that the show we’ll see in July will present Vetements’s Spring 2017 ready-to-wear collections for both women and men. Additionally: “The collection will involve different elements including some Vetements interpretations of couture.” And PS, this won’t be a see-now-buy-now show, which would be sacrilege at couture, but will be subject to “a normal delivery schedule.” More details, she added, will drop later.

So what does this signify? Firstly, it means there is now a Vetements-shaped hole in the September and October Paris schedule, so watch that space. Secondly, it adds yet another eddy to the whirl of experimentation under way in the fashion calendar. And lastly, it continues the collective’s tradition of presenting their work as they damn well please, and not as tradition dictates.

Yet the insertion of Vetements onto the couture schedule, even if what it’s presenting is “interpretive” couture, seems a little akin to asking a passionate street preacher to take the pulpit at Notre Dame. How will Vetements reconcile its fiercely anti-establishment credo with its place at the fashion establishment’s most exclusive table?

Although the most surprising inclusion, Vetements is not the only guest preparing to show in Paris this July. Also newly invited to the couture schedule are J. Mendel, the Russo-French haute furrier and atelier overseen by fifth-generation family scion Gilles Mendel; Yuima Nakazato, the committedly future-facing technophile designer from Tokyo via Antwerp; Francesco Scognamiglio, the provocatively nostalgic romantic from Naples; and the excellent Iris van Herpen, who returns to the couture schedule for the first time since 2013, following her contribution to the “Manus x Machina” show in New York.

Alongside this year’s newly installed guest houses (plus the core Couture corps of Dior, Valentino, Armani, Versace, Chanel, et al.), there will be repeat presentations from guests whose invitations have been extended. The Chambre Syndicale listed these as Aouadi, Guo Pei, Ilja, Julien Fournié, Ralph & Russo, Schiaparelli, Ulyana Sergeenko, and Zuhair Murad. 

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