What is behind the collection “Family and War” by Demna Gvasalia
04 August, 2018
A Georgian fashion designer, the Creative Director of Balenciaga and Head Designer at Vetements, presented a collection named “Family and War” during Paris Fashion Week. Genocide, the neighbouring countries of Georgia, the Soviet Regime, wars, political events, religious attitudes and fighting for freedom from the last century to modern day were themes in his collection.
Vetements' Show in Paris, Demna Gvasalia, Photo courtesy:

“This show was the first time I could introduce my story, my country and my past to
everyone. My childhood was not steeped in flowers or butterflies but war. It was a tough time then. But this time I can speak out not only to my acquaintances but also to the world. I have a big audience listening, observing everything I create. The collection was my way of respecting my origins and the country I come from, though I have not lived there for a long time.” – say Demna Gvasalia about his latest collection.
Vetements' Show in Paris, Demna Gvasalia, Photo courtesy:

When he embarked on the present collection, he realized that the theme would be very personal. Going back to his past and keeping track of all the news coming from Georgia helped him create the atmosphere as if living in Georgia. Despite being away from the country, everything related to Georgia is important to the designer.
“I was born and grew up in Georgia. I was living there until the age of 18. Georgia has played the biggest part in my personal and professional development. I grew up observing what Georgian women wore. As a result, each collection says a bit about Georgia. “

The feeling of dramatism, black color and militarism was acuter in 90s’ Georgia than in other countries. This feeling was reflected in his work through masks. These masks have nothing to do with terrorism but the loss of identity. They also refer to roles people play in their lives. Demna Gvasalia believes, these roles form individual mentalities in Georgia.
Vetements' Show in Paris, Demna Gvasalia, Photo courtesy:

He wanted to produce a film to tell his story. It was an interesting experiment, an attempt to interpret his past through fashion expression. He perceives it as a self-reflection or self-recovery. Before then he was not able to present his identity to the audience. For the show, he planned the order of each look.
Vetements' Show in Paris, Demna Gvasalia, Photo courtesy:

“Actually, it was accepting my trauma and making art out of it. This is what people find hard to understand – turning trauma into art and giving birth to something new through it. This is an amazing thing that an artist can create. “
Vetements' Show in Paris, Demna Gvasalia, Photo courtesy:

Demna Gvasalia is presently working at Balenciaga and Vetements. He is working all day long for the whole week but tries to keep the weekend for himself. He has allocated time for both jobs and it looks like “switch on-off” for the designer. Being all into one job for some time, helps him distance from the other and as a result, he perceives the latter from a totally different perspective.

First photo courtesy:


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