Why the Suit Is Still the Most Important Thing in Your Wardrobe
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by Pitch LekskulJune 29, 2016
Demna's take on the classic men's suit is not so classic.
Demna Gvasalia, designer of Vetements (the brand that got famous for its uber-popular high-end hoodies), was recently appointed as creative director of storied fashion house Balenciaga. Previously the post was held by Alexander Wang, who is known for sportiness and minimalism, but Gvasalia is decidedly a maximalist who loves to embed a dose irony into his designs. (The fact that his hoodies retail for over a grand in some cases and look like they were inspired by Hot Topic is no accident.) Yet his first Balenciaga show was noticeably graphic-less—in fact, the focus was on tailoring.
Gvasalia's vision of the modern suit is well, weird. It's boxy and oversized in some places while skinny in others. These suits actually look like they were designed to look awkward as hell. (The looks were given an extra ironic wink in the form of Balenciaga logo cards in place of pocket squares.) If we had to guess, we might say they kind of look like Gvasalia was bumping Talking Heads like crazy over the past few months while designing this collection.
But here lies the power of the suit. A suit, by definition, is a matching pants and jacket—while the jacket itself is usually required to be built in a certain way (basically lapels that extend from the middle of the body out toward the shoulder). Within that rigid definition—as is fully on display here—anything is possible. Thom Browne and Hedi Slimane re-invented the suit a decade ago when they made it smaller. Armani re-invented it in the '80s when he removed the padding and made it more chill. Thing is, suits can be slim, wide, colorful, monochromatic, heavy or lightweight, look great and still be a suit. Though we at GQ might not endorse Gvasalia's specific vision of modern tailoring for an office meeting, the point he's making is clear: A suit is still, even in our graphic tee'd out world, is the easiest way for a man to completely re-invent his entire look.