Vetements: Bitcoin boys and babes are all the rage
Just when you thought that brands were getting back to doing live shows on runways, when along comes Vetements with another digital lookbook in an ode to Bitcoin billionaires.
Which just about made sense, as the collection was an ode to the new wealth created by social media entrepreneurs.
Though, apparently, very much celebrity-shy new clients for this brand, seeing as practically every one of the 72 looks featured a mask. And in an ironic piece of mickey-taking on modern materialism, the backdrop to the static lookbook was a wallpaper made of One Million Dollar greenbacks. The print reappeared on clunky space-age boots, face masks and even a Statue of Liberty gown.
“Originally catering to royals and the aristocracy, in the early 20th century couturiers focused on a new type of clients - industry tycoons and their families, who made money with everything from oil and real estate to butter and chocolate bars,” the brand’s director Guram Gvasalia explained in a mock-up of a Wikipedia page, sent with the show press release. Which joked that the show budget was one billion dollars.
“With the Fall-Winter 22-23 main collection, Vetements is pushing to redefine the couture and savoir-faire of the previous generations for the new era, that is defined by all-new social and economic phenomenon’s that can transform a person’s life overnight - the new wealth of Bitcoin millionaires. Someone who invested 1000 dollars in Bitcoin in 2010 would now be worth short of 80 million dollars; social media millionaires who rose to fame and wealth by simply being themselves and sharing the most private moments of their lives,” continued Guram, the brother of Demna, designer of Balenciaga.
The net result was a collection with all the edgy attitude and voluminous silhouettes one expects from Vetements, though often in unlikely new fabrics. The men’s and women’s double-breasted blazers and coats were cut with supreme aplomb yet made in atypical fabrics like jersey and molton wool. Though the biggest news was body stockings in fantastic prints – from industrial screws and bolts to calendars and betting slips to autumn leaves.
The exaggerated volumes, shiny velour, wacky prints and brilliantly cut wrap cocktails all oozed streetwise glamour. However, it remains rather ironic that the DNA of Vetements; created by two Georgian refugee brothers, and referencing thrift shop, secondhand styling, should now be considered the go-to destination for Bitcoin billionaires.
An awful lot of people have made a lot of money from Bitcoin. As did many people during the South Sea Bubble of 1720, that era’s most famous financial collapse. But many people also lost shirts in the South Sea Bubble, including Sir Isaac Newton, and many older, wiser heads expect thousands to do so in Bitcoin, as the last people in are left holding the bag.
But at least when they do, they can buy one of Vetements new T-shirts as a consolation. It reads: 'Money can’t make me happy, but Vetements can.'
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