VFiles is a brand whose core is to engage and bring spotlight to young talent — musicians, models, designers — and its spring 2019 show aimed to do it all. Sponsored by Sprite and set on the floor of Barclays Center, the brand opened up its spectacle to the public with 2,800 Eventbrite tickets up for grabs. Endearing for the VFiles community and fans, a bit daunting for those invited, but overall an event with fun, elaborate style.
Post DJ set from A-Trak and a short film by Hidji Films, the fashion began with recent Parsons grad Elena Velez’s “aftermath industries” collection. The devastation and demolition of World War II inspired Velez’s use of regulation fabrics of the time. Linens and cottons were fastened to the steel bustier bodices of coats and dresses while silky parachutes were transformed and wrapped into sheer garments.
In between a few too many #PassTheAux musical performance breaks, VFiles winners Marknull, Shuting Qui and Windowsen took the runway. Wei Wang and Tim Shi of Marknull, the Beijing-based duo behind Marknull, played a mix of layered sportswear, warped plaids and some great wavy denim, paired with mini trompe l’oeil cape bags with hanger handles and flip phones; the collection held the most commercial appeal of the four. Shuting Qui’s Belgium-based line mixed mismatched layers of bold floral jacquards, stripes and plaids in voluminous, tailored shapes over colorful tights and matching boots. From the top of designer Sensen Li’s ruffled hats and sequined face masks to the tip of his platform hybrid Nikes, Windowsen made for the most dramatic collection. The designer’s line was a mashup of athleticwear meets futurism — one look included athletic shorts and matching jacket with larger than life neon ruffled sleeves — and influenced by two of Li’s favorite drag queens, Leigh Boy and Sasha Velour.
The night closed with the show’s most anticipated collection: Paul Cupo’s VFiles Yellow Label debut. “Let’s try to get the youth going back to work,” Cupo explained of his lineup, which juxtaposed workwear versus things to wear to work with an Eighties sensibility. Classic suiting — blazers and slacks for men, pleated miniskirts for women — was done in bright primary and metallic colors in sporty, air weight nylon with “grabbed it off the bedroom floor” wrinkles alongside harness-front denim overalls, wrapped utility dresses and slogan sweatshirts. “Clothes for their interview, first day of work, club and skate all in one,” Cupo described. Cupo closed the show with a surprise: Lil’ Kim in a neon yellow mini blazer dress and corset.