It's become a kind of tradition for us to kick off New York Fashion Week with the harbingers of downtown cool: VFiles. For this season's VFiles Made Fashion show, we were treated to four emerging designers' collections—Julia Seemann, Andrea Jiapei Li, Ximon Lee, and Di$count Univer$e—models riding scooters down the runway, a real live poodle, and a soundtrack by A-Trak.
VFiles Sport Plus
The show kicked off not with Fall/Winter 2015 designs as most of the shows this NYFW will. Instead, VFiles started with a preview of their own Spring/Summer 2015 Sport Plus line, which became available for pre-order immediately following the show. Keeping with VFiles' egalitarian M.O., the collection was showcased by models and nodels (not-models) riding scooters in a giant figure-eight.
The first of the FW15 collections was by Zurich-based designer Julia Seemann who showed a line of geometrically challenging clothes full of references to the late '90s/early '00s: composition notebooks, denim on denim on denim, JNCO silhouettes, circle zipper pulls, and Britney Spears circa "Oops!...I Did It Again" red patent leather.
Andrea Jiapei Li
Next up, NYC's own Andrea Jiapei Li brought another structural collection, toying with thick slabs of neoprene, oversized mesh fabrics, and subtle printing of stripes or hidden message (ex: "You never know" was scrawled on a sleeve in white ink on white fabric). A comfortable collection with a bit of a clinical, ascerbic edge, the clothes were paired with all-white shoes like these most minimal of Stan Smiths.
The only menswear collection of the bunch, Ximon Lee showed an industrial approach to dressing with a recurring motif of skinny stripes of copper looking like wires all over his garments, warning labels, and swathes of crinkled, plastic, almost garbage bag-looking fabric. Lee printed phrases broken up over electric pleats, frayed and bleached denim and left the hems raw, and supplied models with blocks of egg crate foam that they clutched like security blankets.
The show closed with Australian duo Di$count Universe and their signature loud, IDGAF steez. Soundtracked by Beyonce's "7/11" and A$AP Ferg's "Doe-Active," DU is clearly the most ~pop~ of the bunch, but they're more than cartoonish drawings and candy colors. On top of being technically impressive with insane amounts of hand-beading and sequining, DU also has an unabashedly subversive and distinct point of view, boasting dresses with illustrations of nipples clamped by lobster claws or poodles with spiked chokers and garter belts.
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