I haven’t written about “high” fashion these days.
And I think I know why.
For one thing, the only times I leave the house are either to practice yoga or play tennis. I have those outfits nailed by sporting ripped So Low leggings (yoga) or baggy Adidas shorts under Nicopanda sweatpants (tennis), both anchored in Rick Owens Cargo sandals. These sandals, by the way, are often mistaken for leg splints or plantar fasciitis support shoes.
The other thing, which is not one thing at all but a combination of many awful things, is that our world and country is in chaos and I’ve spent more time saddened by racism and the fact that Black Lives Matter even has to exist, numbed by the daily mass murders, or freaked out that people still take Trump seriously. Seriously?
So yeah, not much need or mind-space for fashion these days.
Therefore, I instantly perked up when the barista at my local coffee shop, Snowbird in the Inner Sunset, asked me where I got the sticker on my Apple.
I explained that this “Vetememes” sticker she inquired about was included in my recent Vetememes order, and how excited I was to learn about this “rogue” company that knocked off Vetements through a piece in Racked. I happily showed her the site where she too could buy the over-sized rain poncho for $79, versus the $500+ the Vetements version will set you back.
For the 99.9% of people who have no idea of what Vetements is, 100% of the fashion world is obsessed with this label, including me.
I won’t go into a detailed explanation of the brand and why here; instead, read this piece from Racked titled, “What is Vetements and Why Everyone Freaking Out” which gives you the whole story. Their creative director, Demna Gvasalia, graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp in 2006, designed womenswear for Martin Margiela and Louis Vuitton from 2009 – 20014, at which time he started the Vetements label (French for “clothes”).
His approach with Vetements has been to make “real clothes” into high fashion (giant, oversized hoodies, button-down shirts with mile-long sleeves, sweatpants that fit like trousers), and using mainstream, blue collar logos (DHL, Champion) as badges of honor. Pricing runs from $375 (T-Shirt) to $3,000K+ (bomber jacket).
His approach and designs have struck such a nerve, he was recently given the reins at Balenciaga.
Back to the coffee shop and my sticker which inspired this piece: The Barista’s question and love of Vetements made me so happy, which signaled I am not alone out here in the Sunset with my love of obscure high fashion, and led me to share the Vetememes site with her so she could be able to afford a piece of a fashion moment, even if it wasn’t real.
Fashion can seem so frivolous during these serious times. But it has that power to connect us, as it did to me and the Barista that day, and have an honest and intelligent conversation that didn’t involve the election and the Trump train-wreck, or lame small-talk about the weather.
It was fashion that connected me to Jslow. So I’d say fashion, in this context, is not frivolous at all, but quite fabulous.
And thank god for my Vetememes rain poncho. The fog was so heavy this morning I really needed it.