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Vaquera’s Spring/Summer 2024
Vaquera’s Spring/Summer 2024Photography by Paul Phung

Vaquera’s S/S24 Show Was a Meditation on Celebrity Culture

Shown at Dover Street Market’s 3537 complex, Patric DiCaprio and Bryn Taubensee’s Vaquera Spring/Summer 2024 show was about how celebrities navigate a life barraged by cameras

Lead ImageVaquera’s Spring/Summer 2024Photography by Paul Phung

In the industrial (and industrious) labyrinth of Dover Street Market’s 3537 complex, guests for Vaquera’s Spring/Summer 2024 show were penned into demarcated standing-only sections as the models (some of whom were wearing boggling shield-like sunglasses, the sort preferred by both paparazzi-avoiding celebrities and cataract surgery patients alike) angled their way through a tightly turned catwalk. They seemed to be dodging, pushing their way through the show’s rapid-fire lighting – a mimicry of the dizzying flashes of constant camera attention.

Speaking post-show, Vaquera’s designers Patric DiCaprio and Bryn Taubensee explained that it was a look at how celebrities navigate a life barraged by cameras. But, as the show’s title asked, does it really matter? When we are all equipped with phone cameras, and everything is filtered through lenses anyway? The invitation warned that the show may not be suited for those sensitive to lights, but maybe there was a larger lesson to be heeded … are any of us really suited to a 24/7 screen-styled, flash-blinding life?

That being said, there was nothing camera-shy about the 41 looks presented. The show opened with a gold fishnet bodysuit; bottomless chaps, pink silk underwear layered over a simple black tube skirt, backless trench coats, and dramatic rose origami on neckpieces and dresses were just some of the showstoppers that followed. In the show’s context, it read as a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the absurdities of what we choose to offer up of ourselves for public consumption.

If the word ‘subversion’ and Vaquera have been bandied together in just about every piece of show commentary since the brand’s inception, this season it feels a little too reductive of the assured, technical craftsmanship that was on show to simply speak of their collection in reference to others. Of note was a perfectly cut oversized trench and flouncing dress, each tailored from a white craquelure leather. DiCaprio explained that “as we learn to speak more and more in our own language with each season, we’re able to give more attention to little details. And it’s just going to get more detailed with each season to come.” But the designers still haven’t lost their pointed sense of humour: faux fur featured throughout the collection, notably in a ridiculously oversized dress and hat simply because “fur in summer seems funny … we do like to throw a little wrench still.”

The collection was ripe with more commercial pieces than previous seasons. It’s a testament to the designers’ increasing business acumen – and the support provided by Dover Street Market – but also speaks to a firming of and confidence in their visual vocabulary. “We’re working on establishing a core of key pieces that we are going to continue to sell and change a little bit each season,” explains Taubensee. Denim continues to be a main focus – “I wear the jeans every day, which is a true test, because when you’re so close to the clothes, it’s easy to get disgusted by them,” laughs DiCaprio. “But the fact that I still want to wear them every day is a good sign!”

So, does it really matter? Quite frankly, yes. For Vaquera are proving that with their design language down packed, the barbed commentaries that the duo are able to make on fashion and culture-at-large are thornier than ever before.