Watch: A New Documentary Explores the Charm and Chaos of Vaquera

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Welcome to Our Chaos, 2023
Welcome to Our Chaos, 2023(Film still)

Welcome to Our Chaos, directed by Juan Palacio and Jack Sunnucks, goes behind the scenes of the cult New York label’s Autumn/Winter 2022 show – its first on the Paris Fashion Week calendar

It’s three days before their Autumn/Winter 2023 show, and Vaquera doesn’t have a website. “We forgot to renew,” says co-creative director Bryn Taubensee. “I remember us saying: let’s just do it later … oh well,” says senior designer Laura Spence. So opens Welcome to Our Chaos, a new documentary capturing the days leading up to Vaquera’s first Paris Fashion Week show.

A refreshing lack of polish defines the cult New York label. Headed up by Patric DiCaprio and Taubensee, since 2013 the pair have curated a style they call “fashion fan fiction”: citational, hybrid and fun. When the label were invited to present their Autumn/Winter 2022 show on the Paris calendar, directors Juan Palacio and Jack Sunnucks couldn’t resist filming the action: “We knew we wanted to be there to witness it on film,” say the pair. “A fashion show is such an exciting and nerve-wracking moment to hitch a camera crew to – months of work leading up to this five-minute display of the designer’s vision”. 

The ten-minute documentary, which premieres today on Nowness, gives us a snapshot of the labour that goes into a fashion show. Chief among the tasks is to teach models the ‘Vaquera walk.’ “It’s like you’re late to catch the bus,” says their fitting model. “Toutes les personnes sont très annoying,” Emma Wyman translates to a French model in the next shot. The documentary culminates with the show itself, which was held in the basement of 35/37, Dover Street Market’s Paris location. Inspired by Olivier Assayas’s 1996 Parisian comedy Irma Vep, Palacio and Sunnucks edited their own film with the same experimental, montage style which Irma Vep ends with.

Last year, AnOther called this show “the first chapter of an all-new romance”. Indeed, what comes through is that Vaquera is a labour of love, both for fashion, and in how they treat and affect those around them. “My heart is pounding so fast – I’m going to cry,” says one model after the show.

The Welcome to Our Chaos directors were similarly charmed: “We feel so lucky to have been allowed into their world so completely. Making the film was humbling, and inspiring, seeing the work Vaquera and their team do to put on this type of production twice a year. Releasing on the year anniversary of their first show in Paris seems like the perfect time to celebrate their ongoing success, and look at how far they’ve come. Not that success has changed Vaquera a bit.”