Vetements Questions Reality SS22 by Aybuke Barkcin


Dear Shaded Viewers,

After almost a full year living in isolation, Vetements’s creative director and co-founder Guram Gvasalia finds his inspiration in the Matrix Trilogy, diving deep into the question of reality, digitalisation and the loss of human touch.

“What is reality today? Is that picture photoshopped or real? Are we imprisoned in our own homes? Are we losing the human touch and the human connection?” questions Gvasalia.

With a lookbook that had the models standing in front of a pixelated blank space, often used in Photoshop to edit images, Vetements presented a full collection of eccentric and futuristic characters that very much felt as if I was in a Matrix video-game, scrolling through the different avatars I can be. There were looks that dressed the parts of Neo, Trinity and even Morpheus, while others resembled pageant beauties, cool-hip dads, corporate secretaries, DJs… In a collection of 129 looks, the Vetements team created an entire line of diverse characters enough to fill a simulation.

“Wires have become the only way for us to stay connected to the outside world and the reality we live in. Are we becoming wires ourselves? How many steps are left until we become computerised, until we become machines?” the brand expressed in the shownotes.

Whether in a simulation or not, the Zurich-based brand stayed true to its codes, re-introducing sharply-tailored shoulders, hoodies, floral dresses, parkas and puffers… but this time decorating them with prints of tangled cables, wires, neon numeric codes, flames and graffitis. Of course, the collection didn’t shy away from flirting with the meme culture, highlighting the t-shirts and hoodies with “Single Ready to Mingle”, “Devil Doesn’t Wear Prada” and “Hotter Than Your Ex Better Than Your Next” prints. Though, it would have made more sense for the brand to find quotes which addresses its questions on reality and computerisation, the prints will definitely amuse its younger clients.

For me, the highlights of the SpringSummer22 collection were the pieces with hand-drawn doodles which were on corporate grey suits, duster-length coats, pleated skirt and white shirts… resembling the human touch and childlike habits that were much needed in the cold simulated world of Vetements.

“I started to ask myself: What is reality today? We live in this 2D world; the question is, when you scroll through Instagram, is it photoshopped or is it real? Do we consume the internet or does it consume us?” asks Gvasalia.

With a straight forward message, unique cast full of eccentric archetypes and unexpected presentations… Vetements brings back the sleek cyber-punk aesthetic to dress up in, as we delve deep into the world of digitalisation.


Aybuke Barkcin

Aybüke Barkçin is an art director, photographer, curator and writer that looks at fashion through the lens of political and societal dynamics. She completed her master's Creative Direction in POLIMODA, Italy and has a background in International Relations and Graphic Design. Her work can be found in her website: