They said it would be “the most VETEMENTS show ever,” but was it?

They said it would be “the most VETEMENTS show ever,” but was it?

by Juliette Eleuterio
5 min

A few hours before the show was set to start, the semi-satirical streetwear-meets-high fashion VETEMENTS took to its Instagram to make some bold statements, saying that this would be “The most VETEMENTS show ever,” that “You’ve been waiting for it / for ten years,” and the one “that will make you feel / say WTF / think.” And while some of those statements were true to some extent, there still seems to be some room to question whether this Fall/Winter 2024 season was, in fact, “the most VETEMENTS show ever.”

For the sake of it, let’s just give ourselves a quick recap on the brand: VETEMENTS burst onto the scene in 2014, indeed a decade ago. The Gvasalia brothers co-founded branded saw Demna (now at Balenciaga) at the creative helm, while Guram (now Creative Director of VETEMENTS) focused much more on the business side of things.

VETEMENTS growth started slowly, but steadily thanks to industry approvals such as by stylist Lotta Volkova. Its early day collections were already offering up some of the Gvasalia now-famous designs, such as bootleg graphics, granny-style floral prints, oversized silhouettes and an air of laughability towards fashion. In fact, that was the goal from the get-go: poking fun at the industry which, at times, takes itself too seriously, by challenging its norms through a disruptive outburst of creativity.

By the mid-to-late 2010s, VETEMENTS had become a mammoth of the streetwear movement, becoming a forerunner in the game thanks to Kanye cosigns and the rise of the polarising Eastern European style trend. The VETEMENTS explosion was unparalleled – think of the sock-shoes, the bootleg sportswear pieces that sold for ten times the original price (we’re looking at you DHL tee), the highlighter heels. Basically VETEMENTS was everywhere, and its choice of wacky show locations, from the Parisian Maccies to random flea markets, only amplified its disruptive presence.

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However, with every disruptive force that garners enough loyal revolutionaries, there comes a point in time where it eventually becomes part of the mainstream, which is exactly what happened with VETEMENTS. Its aesthetic began to be copied, replicated, or loosely inspiring to other brands. Eventually, Demna stepped away in 2019 to focus on his role at Balenciaga, a position he had acquired four years ago, leaving the reins of his co-founded brand to his brother Guram.

At first, Guram didn’t take full responsibility of the creative side of VETEMENTS, letting the Zurich-based team take over instead. The consequent collections didn’t feel off-brand by any means, but certainly didn’t they feel extraordinary, either. Eventually, Guram started stepping much more into the limelight, taking more of an ownership in the VETEMENTS creative realm. For his Spring/Summer 2024 collection, which merged triple-XL streetwear-infused pieces with couture-esque gowns on faceless models, he got everyone talking about VETEMENTS as if it were 2017.

And now, for Fall/Winter 2024, VETEMENTS is back and bigger than ever – both in silhouettes and in looks, with this collection amounting to ninety looks total. The beginning kept it simple; a series neutral-toned blazers and structured overcoats graced the runway, most seen in the brand’s signature oversized look, while some came intentionally wrinkled, adding that typically on-brand twist.

We then saw some tongue-in-cheek graphics adorn some seriously oversized tees, such as “not mom’s favourite” modelled by Anwar Hadid, and “your basic t-shirt,” as well as a “Vetements.com” stamped zip-up hoodie, in a style reminiscent of a certain adult website. As per usual, sportswear pieces were turned Fashion (with a capital ‘F’), with side white-lined tracksuit-inspired long-trained skirts, and a red dress featuring the number ‘7’ and the Ronaldo name tag, modelled by the footballer’s wife, Gerogina Rodriguez. Safe to say, Guram is levelling up that sense of irony that has always been key to VETEMENTS.

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Thrown into the mix were two opposing tees that read “Team Aniston” and “Team Jolie” in Varsity-style fonts, reminiscent of the early 2000s iconic snapshot of Paris and Nicky Hilton wearing their own versions of the shirts. There were also jackets and coats fully constructed out of teddy bears, hitting that certified virality wacky fashion statement Twitter already can’t get enough of. To finish it all off, Desperate Housewives actress Marcia Cross closed the show, wearing a full sparkling red dress with in-built gloves, hitting the mark on the iconique blast of the past celebrity.

Guram taking to Instagram to state this show would be “the most VETEMENTS” feels more a dig at his brother – something the younger brother has been known to do, as any siblings would, just amplified by the media – and perhaps also a bit of hype bait, than an accurate statement.

At its core, VETEMENTS was a brand which wanted to disrupt the regular flow of fashion, question it as well as revolutionise, which in part, it did. Its heyday is still remembered under Demna’s leadership, at the height of the streetwear movement. However, considering the cards Guram has been dealt with VETEMENTS now being an established luxury brand, his vision for the brand has slightly shifted, and validly so, as his identity is different to that of Demna’s. 

For the past few seasons, VETEMENTS has been serving looks and collections that have definitely stopped people on their tracks – or on their feed-scrolling, which isn’t an easy feat in today’s day and age of constant digital information being thrown at us. Whether or not this new era of VETEMENTS will be the one to go down in history is a question only time will tell.

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