The industry’s wildest and weirdest gathered together to kick off New York Fashion Week with VFILES in what marks their fifth runway show.
A spectacle that was part Zoolander, part Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the industry’s wildest and weirdest gathered together last night to kick off New York Fashion Week with VFILES in what marks their fifth runway show. Founded in 2012 by former V Magazine Executive Editor Julie Anne Quay, the avant-minded social media platform that also doubles as a concept retail space has proven to be a haven for brazen creatives to share their work and proudly wave their freak flag. All aspects of the show’s production – from designers, to stylists, to models – were selected by the VFILES team in consultation with an echelon of industry tastemakers, including Virgil Abloh, Rihanna stylist Mel Ottenburg and men’s Creative Director of Calvin Klein Collection Italo Zucchelli.
“VFILES brings this energy and it’s very much a generation of kids and people that believe in who they are, and that they’re gonna do it, and we’re gonna help them do it, too.”
Featuring a bass-trembling soundtrack from electronic music magnate A-Trak and a surprise live performance from Korean rapper Keith Ape of Underwater Squad fame, the event was an IRL Tumblr page where cyberkids, ravers, underground rappers and fashion eccentrics peacocked their most flamboyant get-ups in what proved to be a dazzling visual feast of epic proportions.
The show was jumpstarted with a jolting dance performance by NYC collective Waffle Crew, who donned a host of vibrantly colored tracksuits and caps from the Fall/Winter 2015 collection of VFILES’ very own SPORTS PLUS label.
Drawing inspiration from his upbringing in ’90s Tokyo, Japanese designer Kozaburo Akasaka‘s aesthetic fuses underground punk and DIY street styles, melded together by artisanal hand stitching, stapling, heat welding, duct taping and Swarovski riveting.
NYC-based design trio David Moses, Esther Gauntlett and Jenny Cheng, aka Moses Gauntlett Cheng, presented a gender-bending showcase which constructed an aesthetic identity with common material at hand, demonstrated via deconstructed cuts, floral-printed silks and revealing sheer fabrics strutted by an eclectic mix of trans, elderly and cross-dressed models.
The extravagantly whimsical showstoppers presented in Nan Li’s Namilia designs looked like something torn out of an X-rated Lisa Frank coloring book. Victoria’s Secret runway with a Tumblr-fueled brio, Namilia’s larger-than-life pieces are meant to “proclaim a new understanding of what it means to be a girl in the 21st century.”
Sweat-drenched models wearing comforter-sized overcoats, black IV bag straps and zipper-laden tracksuits were just the tip of the iceberg in Beijing-born, London-based designer Feng Chen Weng‘s swath of futuro-streetwear offerings. Mirroring the sporty modernism of Cottweiler and deconstructed, billowing silhouettes of Craig Green, Feng Chen Weng’s creations define a style of high performance, comfort and concept design.
After slaughtering/skinning Big Bird, Portuguese designer David Ferreira fastened a dazzling collection of circus-appropriate formalwear that featured unorthodox silhouettes, mammoth-sized sleeves and Marie Antoinette-esque ballgowns. Throw in Migos, some stumbling models (apparently not everyone is a pro at strutting in 6-inch platforms), and you’ve got yourself the perfect cherry to finish off a very flavorful fashion sundae.
- Photography: Thomas Welch for Highsnobiety.com