Thank god VFiles isn’t too antiestablishment for shownotes. A handy reminder of what exactly it and its runway show is, was left on each seat at Spring Studios Wednesday night. Hear ye: “All the talent on the VFiles Runway tonight — designers to models, makeup, hair, stylist and the show photographer — were discovered directly from vfiles.com, the first fully democratic fashion social platform.” A caveat to the democratic process: A panel of pros, including Virgil Abloh, Harold Koda, Candy Pratts Price and Italo Zucchelli, had a hand in selecting the finalists.
Anyway, the show was fun and energetic with the giddy atmosphere of a high school talent show where anything goes. Among the surprise entertainment was a marching band; Sophie Beem, who’s signed to Beyoncé’s label, opened the show with a crew of dancers wearing glow-in-the-dark styles from VFiles_XO, a new wearable tech collaboration for the company; Tyga, the rapper and on/off love interest of Kylie Jenner, who was in attendance, closed.
Fashion-wise the main talent metric is weirdness — relatively speaking. VFiles is the tribe of the unconventional. But like all fashion tribes, there’s a shared aesthetic. So in his/her quest to be original and unusual, everyone blended into a deconstructed-repurposed-vintage-gender-neutral-streetwear stew, on and off the runway.
Of the five fashion collections selected to show, Neurocouture, winner of VFiles’ new wearable-tech category, was the standout. Two models wore white hoodie/ponchos onto which apocalyptic and pop-culture images — a mushroom cloud, Donald Trump’s face, cartoons — were projected. The other labels — Hardeman, Anton Belinskiy, Kim Shui and Ottolinger — worked in ugly/pretty vintage mashups, deconstructed street sport, and cut-up, gender-ambiguous denim that feel familiar now because of labels like Vetements. But points to all VFiles-ites for their raw sense of joie-de-young-designers and intact senses of humor. If you can’t smile at a model in white underpants wearing an upside-down starched denim maxiskirt from the waist up, then there’s probably no hope for you.