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The Russian designer and streetwear sensation Gosha Rubchinskiy opened the Vetements SS16 show in Paris. Wearing a yellow DHL T-shirt and a scrappy leather suit, he looked like a delivery boy gone awry on his rounds, his level-eyed stare and shaven head suggesting that nothing about this show was going to meet expectations.
It’s testimony to the explosive power of Vetements, a seven-man collective of former Maison Margiela studio designers, that editors, buyers and photographers all swarmed to a Chinese restaurant in the 11th arrondissement on Thursday night to see the label, which has only shown officially three times since its launch in 2014.
Part underground kitsch, part leisurewear (its jeans sell for around £700), part very pretty dresses (which retail for £1,000 and of which an AW15 floral with a red yoke and long drape detail at the back has become the trophy dress of the shows), the Vetements look has captured something rare in its design — the zeitgeist.
There were post-show goosebumps. And the design team (lead by brothers Demna and Guram Gvasalia and a team of mates who prefer to remain anonymous and handle the label’s entire production, from sales to seamstressing) are currently the buzziest act around. Keep a close eye on future developments . . .
For SS16, they continued to build on the same aesthetic: tracksuiting tied and reconstructed into flattering shapes, jersey wear emblazoned with slogan prints in gothic writing, blouson-shouldered jackets left undone at the back, and a wrinkled leather wedge-heeled boot. There were some super dresses, too: a polka-dot tea dress, a lilac velvet gown, an excellent red chiffon, a frilly floral in black and pink that will surely cause a stampede when it arrives in store. For all the show’s edgy sensibility, these were truly wearable looks.
Some of the clothes were modelled by the collective’s friends — at last, some real diversity on the catwalk — and the closing look was worn by the show’s stylist Lotta Volkova Adam, who swept down the catwalk in a black great coat, a shredded denim miniskirt trailing a studded leather belt behind her like a serpent’s tail. She looked like a modern-day Brünnhilde, and just as unforgiving: fantastic.
For more reports from the shows, go to our fashion weeks page on FT.com