I will open this with a question: Is Vetements making fashionable people look like a bunch of tossers?
Yes, it is. But let me explain why.
Vetements, in case you are as yet unacquainted, is the French fashion label responsible for the quite frankly reprehensible DHL T-shirt that people – whose style I actually used to quite like – are now wearing. And I ain’t talking about those friendly delivery drivers from the actual courier service. Everywhere you looked at fashion weeks, someone on the FROW was wearing one.
Now synonymous with normcore fashion (even their incredibly meta name is about as normcore as it gets – literally translating to ‘clothes’) Vetements are, for a lot of fashion fans, the label to be seen in. They’ve made some pretty cool jeans and reclaimed the ease in getting dressed every morning, but they’ve also peddled us ASBO-style tracksuits for the cardiac arrest-inducing price of £750. They’ve been a divisive voice in fashion for a while but, for a lot of people, the DHL T-shirt is a step too far, uncomfortably close to a dose of The Emperor’s New Clothes.
Let us discuss the DHL T-shirt. It is yellow, with red writing. It sports the DHL logo, instantly synonymous with the popular courier service, obviously the paradigm of glamour and sophistication in the modern world. For £185, this tee can be yours. And it’s really effing hideous.
Indeed, even when I consulted the Goog in my quest to discover more about the item for this post, even Google seemed to agree with the absurdity of it all as a fashion item, helpfully suggesting ‘DHL Tracking’ as soon as I began to type the T of T-shirt. A courier service may deliver fashion to you, but it doth not a fashion item make.
The current sheep-effect of this so-called luxury item kind of reminds me of the ‘WANG’ hat from the sell-out Alexander Wang X H&M collab a few years ago. I literally could not fathom why anyone would want to walk around with ‘wang’ written in block capitals, on their head. Forget, for a moment, the cool connotations of it to a fashion insider who actually understands who Alexander Wang is: the majority of people who saw you wearing that item would have glanced at it and deduced that you were proudly proclaiming yourself a dick head. And who could blame them? Perhaps a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy, that one.
I mean, I get it. The DHL T-shirt is subversive. In offering up the day-to-day working uniform of a hands-on job to wear as a statement fashion piece, it makes us question the sometimes uncomfortable clothes women choose to wear to keep up with trends. The utter cheek of it forces us to ask what actually makes an ‘It’ garment, and what truly represents value in the modern world. Above all, it prompts us to reassess what creativity is in a brand-saturated consumer market.
But, if you buy it, you’ll still run the risk of ending up stood next to some geezer who actually works for DHL in the queue at Tesco. And that, people of the world, is not an experience I am willing to spend £185 (probably plus P&P for the DHL service) of my hard-earned cash on.