Character studies: Vetements’ identity-exploring A/W 2017 collection
Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the Centre Pompidou in Paris welcomes between 3.5 and 3.8 million international visitors every year. Its double-height forum, an expansive space comprised of escalators leading to upper galleries and hanging illuminated signs, was also the location of Vetements’ A/W 2017 show, held for the second time as part of January’s haute couture schedule.
Two familiar sights at the Centre Pompidou, ‘Tourist’ – a male figure imagined in beige Bermuda shorts and a clear plastic raincoat – and ‘La Parisienne’ – a woman clad in a camel trenchcoat, pointed shoes and a printed silk-scarf – were just two of the stereotypes explored by Demna Gvasalia in his identity-focussed A/W 2017 men’s and women’s offering.
The show saw a range of street-cast models spanning ages and builds descending the escalators of the forum, imagined as characters including the leather coat clad ‘Metalhead’, padded parka wearing ‘Granny’ and the ‘Secretary’, imagined in a pencil skirt and high heeled pumps, modelled by the show’s stylist Lotta Volkova.
From deconstructed MA-1 bomber jackets patchworked together in maroon, grey, khaki and navy, to puffer-jackets in electric blue vinyl and plaid, Vetements’ A/W 2017 show saw its cult signature styles presented alongside newly developed silhouettes and fabrications. The collection also featured knee-length mink coats and a Chanel-like two piece suit, labeled with witty dotted cut-here scissor lines. Echoing the haute-couture predilection for showcasing bridal gowns, seen at both Ralph & Russo and Giambattista Valli, the show closed with a ‘Bride’, wearing a jacket and skirt with attached trackpants, with one of the layers of the skirt thrown over her head like a veil.