Yesterday, Vetements' Demna Gvasalia debuted his inaugural collection as Balenciaga's creative director. A newcomer with a cult following takes the helm of a fashion house with a dignified legacy — who better to cover this unique commencement than esteemed American fashion journalist Cathy Horyn?
In an interview for The Cut, Horyn picked Gvasalia's brain about his design history, his Balenciaga aesthetic and the key pieces in his highly-anticipated collection (like that voluminous blue parka).
After previous posts at Maison Margiela and Louis Vuitton, the Georgian designer spearheaded Vetements in 2014 with his friends after becoming disillusioned by the industry. "I mean, the biggest compliment for a designer is to see someone wear your clothes. And that's something I rarely saw," he told Horyn.
He was only three seasons in at Vetements when he was hired as Balenciaga's creative director last autumn. "My intention is not to make clothes that are completely new, or to be in a museum — as long as something is practical and somebody needs it in her wardrobe, then it makes sense to me," he said. And Horyn notes that there are touches of both traditional "Cristobál" and fashion-forward Vetements in the collection. For example, take the parka: it has an elegant high collar, but is still a parka, with "Balenciaga" stitched into the back.
Horyn calls Gvasalia's collection "tailored" meets "urban-friendly" (it's roughly 60 percent outerwear, she says) and that probably comes from his environmental influences. He told her that he searches for inspiration among the unfashionable; the "people who are inventive out of necessity and, more crucially, lack fashion self-consciousness," she says. He's also enlisted designers who are committed to letting the clothes be more wearable for more women—and that includes going beyond size zero and constricting silhouettes.
Gvasalia described the difference in designing for his two brands: "Vetements has no historical frame. But at Balenciaga, I need to consider the past, take out certain elements, and then apply my methods to it." Will that be a reflection of his reign at the fashion house? Stay tuned.
Via Harper's Bazaar US