What is VFiles? It’s crocs with spurs. It’s Vitamin B-12. It’s Ask Jeeves. It’s the leftovers in your Louis Vuitton bag. Those descriptions were projected on the walls as attendees entered the Barclays Center in Brooklyn — the show took place in the venue’s freight loading dock.
One presumes the youth-oriented collective was trying to say it represents many things, but for the past nine seasons, it has built a reputation for its splashy shows that highlight emerging designers, feature a musical performance or two and have a varied guest list.
The ninth edition of the show followed this formula. The front row was dotted with everyone from Dapper Dan, the well-known Harlem designer, to Yung Lean, the Swedish rapper who dresses like a suburban dad.
The show started with Offset of the Migos driving a Ferrari onto the circular runway, where it remained as a centerpiece of sorts, and was broken up with a performance from Jessie J, the British singer with a big voice who hasn’t released music for three years. She premiered her single “Think About That.”
It takes inventive clothes to compete with this ambience, and the winning designers, who were mentored by Dapper Dan, Khloé Kardashian, Emma Grede and Jimmy Moffat, held up their end of the bargain.
First up was JunJie Yang, a clever men’s wear designer from Antwerp who recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Yang played with construction and volume. Models wore oversize faux fur hats, giant puffer jackets, fur coats covered in flames and wide-leg pants with large cuffs.
Louis Pileggi, a Chicago-born women’s wear designer based in London, presented a romantic collection of dresses and skirts made from taffeta and decorated with ruffles and hazy images. Pileggi merged these designs with knits and crochet details.
INXX, a Chinese streetwear brand, wasn’t a contest winner but a featured designer that fit in quite nicely although it was the most commercial of the bunch. Models wore reconstructed hoodies (the hood sat in the front of the garment), camo T-shirts and denim jackets, jogger pants embellished with zippers and INXX logos, and quilted bombers.
The show ended on an artful note with Christian Stone, a Central Saint Martins graduate who was influenced by the sea. Models looked as if they emerged from a forgotten shipwreck wearing crochet headpieces, flared pants covered in foil, silk, knotted blouses and garments made from bubble wrap.