Demna Gvasalia on the Pressure of Designing for Vetements and Balenciaga: "It’s Like a Drug"

The designer addresses some of the most imporant issues in fashion.

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Complex Original

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Demna Gvasalia was very busy this Paris Fashion Week. The designer not only presented the latest collection for his label Vetements, but he also debuted his first collection as the artistic director for Balenciaga. Following both shows, Gvasalia sat down with The New York Times to talk about the stress of creating two collections, the most challenging aspect of design, and diversity on the runway.

While Gvasalia received plenty of praise following his runway shows, many were quick to notice that his cast of models for both the Vetements and Balenciaga were all white. At a time when many in the industry are working to improve diversity in fashion, Gvasalia's choice to include no models of color received a lot of criticism. When asked about the backlash by the Times, Gvasalia declined to address it, noting instead, "What does attitude look like? Is it in the body, the clothes, the mind?"

Gvasalia also touched on the pressure to create two collections in one season. With creative directors like Raf Simons and Alber Elbaz leaving their positions, the stress of the fashion schedule has been a ongoing discussion in the industry, but Gvasalia doesn't seem to mind having to do double the work. He even says that it is like a drug. 

"I’m starting to feel depressed today, I think," he said. "It wasn’t really pressure. It was the dynamic of every day doing this thing. The last 10 days, every single day I worked on a show. From Thursday to Thursday, then it was Vetements. Then I said, how lucky I am that there is Balenciaga show coming. It’s not over yet. I felt like I want more. That’s why I put that song at the end of the show: 'More,' by Sisters of Mercy."

Gvaslia also notes that he often has to explain his clothes, since people don't understand how he constructs the garments. Many assume the pieces are styled for the runway, but Gvasalia says he doesn't believe in styling. Instead he adds a certain type of attitude to each garment, saying that part is "the most interesting challenge of design."

To read the full interview head over here.

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