Some things in New York are comforting in their predictability: the coffee at La Colombe, the traffic jams at the Lincoln Tunnel and the VFiles show starting over 40 minutes late at New York Fashion Week.
Luckily, those who arrive on time can pass the time by people-watching — the show always yields some eccentric street style in the front row. Held this season in the Viacom building at 1515 Broadway, VFiles’ fall runway highlighted the collections of three up-and-coming lines: Daniëlle Cathari, Snow Xue Gao and Strateas.Carlucci, designed by Peter Strateas and Mario-Luca Carlucci. They were selected from thousands of submissions by the VFiles team and a group of mentors, who this season included makeup artist Pat McGrath, stylist Mel Ottenberg and designers Jerry Lorenzo and Tommy Hilfiger.
VFiles never fails to deliver on the live entertainment front, and the show eventually got underway with a pair of energetic dancers from Atlanta, Meechie and Toosi, and a soulful song by Chicago rapper Joey Purp. Rapper 21 Savage later closed the show with a laid-back performance of “No Heart.”
Snow Xue Gao, a New York-based designer who presented her spring collection at the 2016 Parsons MFA show, was up first on the runway. Aiming to mix “the boudoir and the boardroom,” she sent her models out in boxy wool, plaid and pinstripe suiting with exaggerated shoulders that recalled Vetements. Each suit featured deconstructed floral-printed silk accents, dresses and kimonos layered underneath, winking at an Eastern influence. Her oversized jackets — as in a navy blazer with floral piping — felt the most wearable.
Up next was Daniëlle Cathari, a third-year student at Amsterdam Fashion Institute, with a lineup consisting of two parts: reworked vintage Adidas tracksuits and tailored, ruffled wool coats. With streetwear reaching an all-time high popularity, Cathari’s sporty, zip-up minidresses in hot pink and baby blue — and featuring a patchwork pastiche of Adidas’ graphic triple-stripe logo — should be a hit if they hit retail. (Although when her girls marched in formation in the show’s finale, they sort of resembled Power Rangers.)
Melbourne-based designers Peter Strateas and Mario-Luca Carlucci had the strongest outing of the three. Their men’s wear lineup for Strateas.Carlucci showcased a range of luxe fabrics and piercing and motocross motifs throughout. Outerwear was the highlight here: from a pair of green and black leather motorcycle jackets to a metallic purple trenchcoat in faux-croc.