PARIS, June 21, (AFP): Paris men’s fashion week kicks off Wednesday with its reigning enfant terrible Demna Gvasalia again cocking a snook at convention by staging a “no show”.
The brains behind the ultra hip Vetements label — whose voluminous hoodies and re-cut Levi jeans sell almost as fast as spinners — said he was bored with tired old catwalk traditions.
“I got bored … fashion shows are not the best tool”, he told Vogue earlier this month.
“We did the show in the club, the (Chinese) restaurant, the church … It’s become repetitive and exhausting. We will do something when there’s the time and the need for it. It will be more like a surprise”, he added.
As well as doing away with a conventional catwalk show, Gvasalia is also dispensing with the need for a new collection every season.
Instead the Georgian-born designer will unveil a selection of “re-editions” of clothes he has already created to buyers and journalists in what his brand termed a “no show”.
That said, Gvasalia’s new spring summer collection for Balenciaga — for which he also designs — is the hottest ticket on the opening day of fashion week.
And Demna, as he is known to fashion insiders who struggle to pronounce his surname, may be about to get some competition when it comes to punk attitude.
Five new designers have joined the elite Paris ranks this time, with one of the new kids on the block, American Henri Alexander Levy, no slouch when it comes to provocation and self-promotion.
His brand Enfants Riches Deprimes (“Depressed Rich Kids” in French) counts Courtney Love, Beyonce and Justin Bieber among his customers and Kim Kardashian was snapped wearing one of his punk leather jackets costing $11,000 (10,000 euros).
The product of Swiss boarding schools, Levy, the son of a rich Atlantan family, revels in his privilege, reportedly declaring that “Saint Laurent is my Zara” and that he would kill himself if he wasn’t rich.
He emblazoned one of his T-shirts with the nihilistic legend, “Wasted entitled selfish fiend”.
The other newcomers reflect the global pull of Paris as a fashion capital, with Taiwan’s Angus Chiang debuting his first collection of his trademark acid pop colours Thursday.
The Israeli designer Hed Mayner has built a following with more sombre oversized clothes influenced by the attire of Orthodox Jews.
He began his career at 16 making clothes in his home village of Amuka in Galilee in the north of the country, a place of pilgrimage for Hasidic Jews in search of a good marriage.
Swedish-based Kurdish brother and sister team Dilan and Lezan Lurr — who come from Kirkuk in northern Iraq — show their first collection for their Namacheko label Friday.
While Alexander McQueen is one of fashion’s most established names, the brand will show its first Paris men’s collection on Sunday.
The newbies will show alongside such mainstays as Dior, Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Berluti, Hermes, Dries Van Noten, Balmain and Lanvin.
In total 52 shows are taking place during men’s fashion week with the Paris haute couture shows starting on July 2.