Demna Gvasalia Looks Back at His Once War-Torn Home for Vetements’s SS19 Collection

“I tried to face this angst and fear and pain in this show.”

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Fashion
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Announced earlier this spring, Vetements kept true to its word, ditching the sartorial circus that is Paris Fashion Week and chose instead to showcase its Spring/Summer 2019 assemblage during Paris Couture Week. Placing gut-wrenching memories aside, Demna Gvasalia ventured deep into his own personal memory bank with the aim of capturing the true spirit of his war-torn past. “I dedicated this collection to Georgia, the Georgia where my brother Guram and I grew up together in the ’90s, and the war that happened where we lived. I tried to face this angst and fear and pain in this show. I didn’t want to remember before, I didn’t want to go that far,” he expressed in speaking of the collection.

Feeling an overwhelming sense of empathy for those who share such a harrowing history, Gvasalia felt it only right to bring on street-cast Georgian models into the show. “They don’t smile” — a phrase the designer used to characterize his compatriot muses, as each took turns strutting down a wedding reception-esque catwalk that was staged in close proximity to the Boulevard Périphérique — an area of the capital where many displaced migrants sought refuge.

With such prominent observances to pull from, many of the pieces adhered to military-inspired accents, including camo-printed blazers, field jackets, and trousers, along with a swarm of combat boots and a lone bomber jacket spotlighting the text “See this clenched fist?” with the word “Enough” in Georgian laid out beneath. That same military motif — although in a much more somber, Goth-style manner — brought on a wave of masked-clad models, some of whom bore intimidating flak jackets with spike-adorned footwear, aesthetically lending itself to a wider guerilla-style semblance.

In traditional Vetements fashion, sportswear cues also ran rampant throughout, namely, in the full-on tracksuits, sneakers, and hoodies, as did the label’s penchant for elaborate shapes, boxy structures, and overflowing silhouettes — at times fusing all of the aforementioned styles codes within the same ensemble.

Scroll the gallery above for a look and be sure to catch up on our rolling SS19 fashion coverage for more.

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