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Vetements SS24
Courtesy of Vetements

Vetements’ 16-XL collection is a last ditch attempt to prevent quiet luxury

Guram Gvasalia’s SS24 collection took the oversized silhouette to its most extreme scale

Over the past few seasons, fashion’s pendulum has edged further towards a sober menswear silhouette. Nip-waisted tailoring, shrunken knitwear, and straight-legged trousers: it’s about harnessing a conspicuous sense of cool that rejects the braggadocio and bombast of outsized puffer jackets and ostentatious trainers and visible logos, which were popularised at the height of the streetwear movement. But some memories are harder to relinquish than others and Vetements is clinging onto the oversized thing like a life raft at sea. Having popularised gargantuan hoodies and bomber jackets in the late 2010s, Guram Gvasalia’s latest collection reads like one final attempt at convincing people to dress like an absolute unit. 

For SS24, Vetements proposed supersized hoodies, bombers, pantsuits, shearling jackets, and jeans, which had been sized up 16 times from the brand’s already behemoth silhouettes. Shoulders lurched forwards, sleeves scraped the floor, and legs puddled in a quagmire of extraneous fabric. Unreal and exaggerated to an extreme scale, the whole thing was a retaliation against the advancements in AI. “I think AI has blown the roof off imagination, and people can now visualise things that they could only imagine before," Gvasalia said. Perhaps this morbid fascination with machine learning – and how it steals artists’ work – explains why the designer appropriated his brother Demna’s gargantuan Balenciaga creations with six-metre-wide hoop skirts that bobbed from t-shirt wedding dresses and stretch velvet ball gowns. 

If all those jumbo silhouettes were meant to dehumanise the wearer – models looking like blurred spectres with their faces invisible in semi-sheer canvas – then the presence of tailored dummies evoked an analogue, anti-technological feeling. “With a steadfast commitment to challenging the status quo, Vetements once again breaks the mould, delivering a collection that defies categorisation and redefines contemporary fashion,” Gvasalia’s ChatGPT-produced show notes read. The collection didn’t quite defy categorisation – these are still clothes – but Vetement’s suppliers did initially refuse to manufacture the pieces because of their size. These were clothes about the real (AKA the big and the human) and the fake (AKA the invisible and the artificially generated) coming into conflict. Click through the gallery above to see the rest of Vetement’s massive and colossal clothes for SS24.