Total marginal: the trashy look is marching on

Poverty trumps in the fashion world. Literally. A. F. Vandevorst showed a collection of bags, Balenciaga made a very expensive Ikea-bag and Vetements works together with Crocs. What says that penchant for trashy about our society?

Moschino. © GF

A velvet tracksuit with Crocs underneath and an Ikea bag in the hand: it is a look that you think to encounter in a laundrette in Borgerhout or Anderlecht, but you will find ‘m now also in the hippest Parisian modekringen. The line between taste and lack of taste, or between sophisticated and banal, seems today flouer than ever. An example: this spring made Balenciaga – still a poepchic fashion that the wedding gown of queen Fabiola provided – an expensive version of the famous Ikea bag. The shape, the color and the size were crack the same. Only the material, leather instead of recycled plastic, was different. And the price. For one Balenciaga instance if you bought more than 3300 at Ikea. The Parisian house flikte the trick already with a butter soft lambskin leather variant of the jumbo-shopper: the striped, or plaid XL tote bag like the ones you buy in Blocker.

Balenciaga © GF

Ugly is really

These two handbags are no isolated example. The trashy look is marching on. Luxehuizen make white sportkousen, shoot their campaign on little photogenic non-places and find sportkleren no longer not done. Chanel built even a supermarket after for their parade. How banal, how trendier, it seems. ‘There will gradually wear on the hipster. The look was too predictable, copyable and mainstream. To re-differentiate, and dived trendsetters in the margin. Only there, in an unexplored area where almost no one comes, you find something new and choquerends. Today there is everywhere a great team behind that is the hip and cool. Want to youngsters at weaning. So they go looking for rawness, authenticity, and – excusez le mot – authenticity. You have in New York, now a scene of young designers, their collection of proposals in the subway.’ The word is trendwatcher Ellen Anthoni van Trendwolves. ‘The look of these trendsetters is intentionally onflatterend, that few would copy. Read: the chance that the mainstream is small.’ Though you know that never be sure. Just look at jean, which was invented as hard wearing werkmansplunje, evolved to casual wear and kicking it to high fashion. Dior showed last month, a lot of denim during the fashion week in Paris.

The free T-shirt

Fashion designer Demna Gvasalia is in this trashtrend a central figure. The Georgian studied at the Antwerp fashion academy and worked for Maison Martin Margiela and Louis Vuitton. Since two years he is at the creative helm of Balenciaga. Therefore, he was the man who Ikea to luxury raised. In 2012 he was co-founder of the brand Vetements. There makes he even more eager from the ‘marginal’ keg. So he sent models the structure on dressed in a DHL-T-shirt (the werkplunje of 300,000 carriers worldwide), white sportkousen (the ultimate fashion faux pas), shapeless hoody’s (the uniform of criminals and troublemakers who want to remain anonymous) and heavy metal shirts (the monopoly of a modeogen oncoole subculture). But also mom jeans in which even the slimmest model a thick rear and the ‘daklozenlook’ of different oversized coats over each other. All of this was shown in onglamoureuze locations – think: a Chinese restaurant – and by alternative models that he finds on the street, in clubs and through Facebook. Because of beautiful faces should Gavsalia also do not know. About aesthetics as he says himself: “I love it precisely because it is ugly. Mode you should not let dreams.’ Trendwatcher Ellen Anthoni: “Since the DHL T-shirt Vetements was the free T-shirt is really a trend as a statement against the commercial fashion system. Because the raw aesthetics are more than visual brutality. There is also a value judgement. It is a rebellion against the system. A raised middle finger to the ruling class.’

The DHL T-shirt Vetements. © IMAXTREE

The time that we indiscriminately by the brands imposed the trends followed, it is over. Bottom-up overrulet top-down. The youth going against them, or – better still – has its own trends. Of course, via social media. Demna is sometimes the only fashion designer mentioned that the internet generation really understands. That would be right. Because almost all his items ‘go viral.’ The DHL T-shirt was so popular that there are fake copies up on eBay. (Although there is, of course, to argue about what’s real and fake.) And it was thanks to Instagram that the striped jumbo shopper a must have. “There is a new definition of luxury. It is a visual statement that attracts attention, ” says the London trendanaliste Aleksandra Szymanska. She attended the recent years, the use of everyday corporate logos in the fashion. Gvasalia has clearly understood that Instagram-friendly designs, the sales boost. And there’s a group of fashion lovers is that confident enough to take themselves not too seriously, and what humor in their outfit. Szymanska: “After many years of absence of logo’s now totally back in the fashion. Brands use non-fashion logos, because such visual jokes to do well on social media. This is different than in the 90’s, when the LV of Vuitton and double C’s of Chanel ostentatiously showed how rich the wearer was.’

Here come the Crocs

The Ikea-bag, the sportkousen or the oversized jeans: these are all items that are outside of the modenet fall. They are unobtrusive and mainstream. Logically, Vetements, from day one, the luis in the modepels was. The name alone says it: it’s not about fashion, but the clothes. Vetements committed against merkenmania the hysterical high fashion. Their banal, everyday iconography is a plug to the commercial aspect of fashion. The brand on social media regularly, openly criticized the rampant overproduction. They are brutal, are not afraid to say what they think. No wonder, then, Li Edelkoort them mentioned as a good example in its Anti-Fashion Manifesto in which they have the fashion world fileerde. The founders of Vetements – actually a collective of which Demna the spokesperson is – were all frustrated because the fun out of the mode was gone. Hence they also humor to introduce a relatively new concept in the fashion. They don’t want timeless classics, but clothes that tell us something about now. The reality they call their main source of inspiration. And that reality is clearly raw and unpolished. It shows the underbelly of society that many times is more interesting than the perfect Pinterest – and Instagram-worlds that we go up. The success proves that the people there are looking for.

The striped bag Balengiaca and loafers from Gucci. © IMAXTREE

Demna is definitely one of the figures who (for his inspiration) like the margin plunges. “If everything is already seen and shared, it is only the marginal and the extreme weirde still cool. That fascination you see very clearly with young people currently. They are distinguished by something cool to find out what the mass is not okay, ” says Tom Palmaerts, founder of agency Trendwolves. Gvasalia do that by working with a total of oncoole brands, such as much maligned slipperfabrikant Crocs – he made a plateauversie with ‘gems’ on it – Juicy Couture, known for their cheap-looking velvet joggingpakken. And the question is: why does Gavsalia such a thing? He wants to take revenge on the copying highstreet chains? Flirt with the marginal? Or is he that bad taste just really nice? Many modecritici see a statement in the post-Sovjetomgeving in which he grew up. That world was full of the fake sportpakken, laklieslaarzen and underground metal. That trashy aesthetics is actually literally in his DNA.

Marcel Duchamp

In January, during the coutureweek in Paris, posted Weekend Knack journalist Jesse Brouns on Instagram a photo of a very normal woman in the subway with the caption ” A preview of #Vetements #SS18 and #Balenciaga bag. It is ironic and perhaps exactly what Gvasalia wants. Itself he left to the British Telegraph, to know that he is the Vetements-clothes would never buy. Because he of that money, rather were going on vacation. He stabs the dragon with fashionistas who spend a fortune changed hands for a banal Ikea-bag? Perhaps it is a stitch to the other fashion houses, who are blinded by the invention of an it-bag, because now once a lot of money in the coffers. Or he takes revenge on the big chains by their copycatgedrag to imitate? A luxury house that shameless of a budgetketen steals; it is the world on its head. And that is exactly what Gvasalia like to do: everything is upside down.

In that regard, you allowed him to feel the Marcel Duchamp of fashion. The French artist raised exactly 100 years ago an everyday object (a urinal) to art by his signature to put it on a pedestal. Demna does crack the same: a banal plastic bag a great fashion item. “We give existing pieces a new life’, he said himself in The Guardian. Gvasalia is of course not the first. Hence, many him the spiritual son of Martin Margiela called. You could argue that Gvasalia’s philosophy – one that is full of the irony and the anti-fashion – yet more radical than its aesthetics. Call it fashion at the meta-level, intended for the meerwaardezoeker that there is the irony of recognize. But he succeeds in the fashion system hacking. His statements go beyond the high fashion and comment on global capitalism. He makes no distinction between the real and the fake. Between a tribute, an ironic joke, or uninspired plagiarism.



On the street spot we regularly hipsters in bouwvakkerlabels such as Snickers or the workwearlijn of Carhartt or Dickies. But also stofjassen and even caps of tractormerken genre John Deere. Call it an outgrowth of the lumberjack trend: people with a bureaujob look as though they are labourers. That tends to be cultural appropriation, a kind of discrimination where the youngest much about was written. Weekend Knack journalist Katrin Swartenbroux explained recently why Beyoncé in a sari or a mannequin with verentooi not okay. ‘Where does inspiration and where to start a costume play that people of foreign origin to insults? How many elements of a culture that is not yours, do you find yourself appropriate in the name of creativity? In other words: when does inspiration and appreciation into appropriation?’ she wondered. ‘If there is an imbalance of ‘power’ is. It is not fair if the dominant group of symbols takes on a subordinate group. That is no exchange, but a continuation of that oppression.’

That discussion we can also carry on the trashtrend. We look down on the lifestyle of ‘the marginalized’: we do not want in a caravan or a social block live and we also trade prefer not to use their time ticket. But we pick up their look, because we are thus able to push against the whole world. ‘I suspect there are not many construction workers go on protest against hip kwieten that a work trousers with patches, without that they are ever on a site have appeared. It’s definitely not with bad intentions, but I admit that it is ‘on the brink’ is’, suggests trendwatcher Ellen Anthoni. You can of course ask what the difference is between a hipster with a duurbetaald DHL T-shirt and a blue-collar worker who wears it because he has no other job gets. Or an alcoholic with a can of Cara pils, and a hipster who will drink from irony? It has something of salonsocialisme. Think: the bourgois bohemian who pretends to be a socialist disposition, but a capitalist lifestyle. With the prices of Balenciaga and Vetements, are the only this gauche caviars that this trashiness can afford.

Vetements © IMAXTREE

Expensive joke

Currently, the Hasselt fashion museum an exhibition about what that actually is, good and bad taste: The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined. Those who are vulgar, expresses a value judgement. The British curator (previously was the show to see in London’s Barbican) Judith Clark refers, among others, to Jeremy Scott, an American who designs for Moschino. He is an expert in popular culture on the catwalk. So, he signed a full McDonald’s and his latest perfume looks like a spray can of degreaser. Also he stabs the dragon with the elite and how they feel superior compared to, for example, McDonald’s customers. Curator Judith Clark talks about how Scott is just the same trick as Demna Gvaslaia for Vetements: “An additional irony is that you already have a huge budget must have to be that ironic clothes to buy.’

Eating from a can

As it goes with trends, also reached the underground trashlook the luxesector. A chic house like Balenciaga Gvasalia inlijft, is a fantastic proof. Why they put the most disruptive modestem of the time at the helm? “We were looking for someone that the cards could herschudden,” said Isabelle Guichot, CEO of Balenciaga. According to François Pinault (CEO of the umbrella luxury group Barrier) made his unique approach of the modevak, in combination with sociological observation’, to be to him the perfect man for the job. This choice marks a new strategy of luxehuizen, who for many years bets on heritage translate to the new generation of consumers. The new creative directors don’t look back, but to him. They made it to the rules of the house by the shredder and create a totally new look. Take Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent. He dresses grimy drummers and their drugged-out sweethearts, instead of the Rive Gauche-elite. Alessandro Michele threw at Gucci, the killerstiletto’s overboard and presents off-the-wall loafers with faux fur. But it works. The are currently the two best selling brands on Net-a-Porter. Not coincidentally, Gucci’s Alessandro Michele is a big fan of Demna: “I appreciate his search for a different kind of beauty, especially in an industry that in the past beauty always tried to define and to dictate.’

Also outside the fashion world there is a blend between classy and trashy, ” Tom Palmaerts. ‘Eating from a can is suddenly cool. There are high-end stores of preserves and in New York there was a pop-uprestaurant that only canned food high quality served. And also for instant coffee – for us it is a marginal phenomenon – are baristas now, working on a specialty version. Last year, two marginal streetfoodtentjes in Shanghai, even a Michelin star.’ Everyone ready for the first Michelin-frietkot? In hoody, slippers and colors go, it is certainly no faux pas more.

Balenciaga © GF

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