Guram Gvasalia unveiled his Spring/Summer 2023 collection for VETEMENTS during Paris Haute Couture Week.

This collection is very personal to me. It’s my first physical VETEMENTS
show as a Creative Director. It’s a summary of my childhood memories, war
trauma, hidden desires and twisted imagination.
There was this one toy I had when I was a child, everything else got
destroyed during the war. That one toy was a deformed version of a teddy
bear, that was old and patched, as a patched brown shearling look in the
show, after getting replaced by a troll figure in the pink-red dress.
There are check blankets similar to those we got at refugee camp to wear
instead of outerwear, as we couldn’t take anything with us. They were what
kept us warm when being forced out of our homeland.
When I was a teenager I wanted to be a punk , something I knew my family
would never approve of, so I would fantasize about it on the bus to school.
I would also picture other people on the bus looking completely different
from how they looked, I would imagine them with crazy spikes, feeling like
there is a punk in each of us, or with hair dipped in silver. I would imagine
my boy classmates in fancy evening gowns, rocking high heels, I would
imagine the fancy life with Couture gowns, as I thought that was a place so
far away from war, so far away from death.
When I was 5, I fell in love with Kim Basinger, I thought she was the most
beautiful woman in the world. That year my cousin got her first Malibu
barbie, and I bought it from her, from all the savings I had from my birthdays,
and Christmases. At night when everyone would sleep, I would take her out
of a hidden place, and make dresses for her, without knowing what design
or fashion was. Today parents are understanding when their 5 year old boy
wants to play with Barbies and not cars, when I was growing up, in
extremely conservative Georgia, that was definitely not the case. As a tribute
to that memory, Ireland Baldwin, the daughter of Kim Basinger is walking
the show.
Soon after getting my first Barbie, I discovered that there was this TV
programme every Sunday that for 7 minutes would review the gossip from
around the world and for 2 minutes out of them show fashion. This was the
most exciting thing and my whole week was about these 2 minutes of

fashion I could watch. And the music… there was this music that so many
years later I still can hear in my head. So for my first show, I wanted this
music, and somehow I managed to recreate it on the piano.
There was in my life time of depression, where you feel you don’t want to
do shit today, time of being a gamer, trying to escape the reality, and time
of starting to live on my own, and accidently washing all my clothes with
And there was my grandmother, with her morning gowns and Zebra printed
dresses till the floor, and with her red lipstick, the first thing she would put
on every morning, even during the war and after in the refugee camp.
Creativity comes from the lack of the means. As we couldn’t afford nor find
any fabrics during the war time, I would take these cheap bags, cut them
and make designs out of them. My first design patterns came in these blue,
red and black check. Later on I realized what I was making my first garments
from, was a knock-off version of the iconic Tati bag. So when I was told Tati
went out of business, and will be demolished, I knew my first show had to
be there.
Prior to coming out as the Creative Director of VETEMENTS, I showed my
first collection for the brand in December last year, all masked looks; masks
as a protection, of what’s inside, masks as a protection of the world that
sometimes can be very brutal, especially being LGBTQ and growing up in a
super homophobic environment. Everyone expected me to continue this
season with this signature move of covering all faces, but once I fitted the
casting, I removed all the masks that were in the show, I wanted to show
their faces, tell their stories through my clothes.
After all I’ve been through in my life, the good and the bad, I truly believe
there is a higher power that protects us and loves us. The only thing is to
believe in yourself, even if you are a boy from the middle of nowhere, ripped
of your childhood and many other things, that one day dreams can come
true. There is always an Afterlife; life after the pandemic, life after the war,
life after life after life...”

– Guram Gvasalia