Behind Exactitudes, the photo series that inspired Vetements
Dutch photographer Ari Versluis discusses his project with Ellie Uyttenbroek – a study of social uniforms which influenced Demna Gvasalia’s AW17 collection
The unveiling of Vetements’ AW17 collection, which saw Demna Gvasalia send a troupe of stereotypes down the runway – including the punk, the emo, the gabber and the chic Parisienne – in a brilliant study of clothes as signifiers of constructed identities. Gvasalia, a self-professed sociology fanatic, described the collection as a response to his “fascination with social uniforms and how people dress,” citing Exactitudes, the ongoing photo project by Dutch photographer Ari Versluis and profiler Ellie Uyttenbroek, as his key inspiration. The project, which has been published in various print editions and also exists as a wonderful online catalogue (be warned, it’s a rabbit hole: once you enter, you won’t resurface for at least an hour), began in 1994 and is made up of 154 series to date. Each series comprises of 12 square portraits, laid out on an A4 grid, depicting members of the same social group. They stand in identical poses, further highlighting their conformity to a specific dress code.