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Vaquera AW23
Photography Cris Fragkou

This film will teach you how to stomp and strop like a Vaquera model

As the label opens Paris Fashion Week with an obscene AW23 collection, a just-released documentary travels back over its chaotic AW22 debut

Even those with the most rudimentary grasp of the French language might glean meaning from the phrase “toutes les personnes sont très annoying.” Particularly if the person saying it – stylist Emma Wyman – was flapping her arms in an attempt to convey the ungainly walk of a Vaquera model. “It’s like you’re late for the bus,” one of the brand’s models clarifies, in a piece of advice that manages to send another rolling on his ankle. That unvarnished, galumphing stride has provided an appropriate soundtrack to all the frenzy and fun that collects around Vaquera designers Patric DiCaprio and Bryn Taubensee, who are the subject of a new film directed by Juan Palacio and Jack Sunnucks

The 10-minute documentary follows the creative cabal behind the New York label in the lead-up to its debut collection at Paris Fashion Week, which took place this time last year. Palacio and Sunnucks document the fittings, the seating charts, the set dressing, the pre-show interviews, and the fashion show itself… but even in the face of chaos (like forgetting to renew the brand’s website and therefore making it impossible for anyone to make a purchase, or not having enough green tea on set, or models falling to their knees on the runway) the team are like: ‘Oh well, never mind’. In the film’s closing segment, the house lights come up on the brand’s AW22 collection and a collaborator says, “the French really loved it. They’re shocked because there’s nothing like it here.” 

Those words could just as feasibly be applied to the brand’s AW23 collection, too, where models thundered through a derelict exhibition space at Dover Street Market last night, eyes obscured with nylon tights yanked over their heads. As one t-shirt read, the collection was a buffet of “obscene dress”. Bright red knickers had been embedded onto front-pleated trousers, transparent bags were loaded with 50-dollar bills, and mesh tops had been twisted and protracted into wrinkled Pepperami nipples. Leather skirt sets, biker jackets, and bralettes were studded with nails, denim skirts bore oblong cut-outs as if they had been tugged down towards the knees, and one-shouldered dresses swooped under and exposed the boob – all of which had been put together with an air of excess: styled with conical bras, shaggy overcoats, and overblown puff sleeves. A bit Tumblr-era Chanel, a bit Hellraiser.

Click through the gallery above to see the rest of Vaquera’s AW23 collection at Paris Fashion Week.