Not all fashion designers can employ the term “haute couture” to describe what they do, just a select few. Well actually, a few selected by the gatekeepers of couture, a sort of trade union of high fashion known as the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. Last Week, this union announced that they’ve got a new guest member who will be staging a show as part of Couture week in July, and suprisngly this guest is Vetements.
Vetements has become a fundamental fashion lodestone that it seem preposterous to consider that it is only four seasons old to showcase their colletion at Paris Fashion Week. WWD has revealed that the brand has been invited to show during Paris’s haute couture week in July. The much-hyped label was elected a guest of the week, alongside J. Mendel, Yuima Nakazato, Francesco Scognamiglio and Iris Van Herpen. Couture shows are an entirely different scene to ready-to-wear – instead of showcasing clothes that will be bought and sold by buyers, they showcase creations that demonstrate brand’s technical ability and their most outrageous ideas. Couture designers must abide by the Chambre’s stringent rules, such as having a Paris-based atelier with more than 20 staff. While brands such as Chanel, Christian Dior and Maison Margiela are synonymous with the premise of haute couture, Vetements isn’t – instead it’s known for its deconstructionism, oversized silhouettes, pop culture appropriated logos and a streetwear sensibility.
Whether they’ll be opting for a couture upgrade is to be seen – this could just be a way for Gvasalia and co to show their new collection off the normal fashion schedule but still in the presence of press, as they revealed plans to do earlier this year. And while July’s couture schedule is slated to showcase fall collections, Vetements plans to send out spring 2017 on the runway. “The brand has already shown fall,” a spokeswoman for Vetements told WWD, indicating that July’s catwalk would be heavy on ready-to-wear looks. Alongside this year’s newly installed guest houses (plus the core Couture member such as Dior, Valentino, Armani, Versace, Chanel, etc), 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.
It is certainly one of the biggest developments in the ongoing streetwear revolution that’s turning the fashion industry on its head. Will oversized leather jackets, shaved heads, re-appropriated logos and haute hoodies soon be gracing the Grand Palais? Guess, we will have to find out at Paris Couture Week, which will run from July 3 to 7.