This week, Deadspin and Jezebel swap beats to celebrate America’s most dangerous and controversial pastimes: football and fashion, two sports that have far more in common than you think.
Before figuring out who were the designers chosen to put together showcases for Tuesday’s VFiles Season 10 show in Brooklyn, the first step was figuring out what the hell VFiles is.
Here was the most helpful attempt, courtesy of the VFiles FAQ:
WHAT IS VFILES?
VFILES is a platform, community, and cultural force built on a mission of connecting and empowering the global youth community. Our easy-to-use tools allow fans and creatives to connect, discover, collaborate, and be a part of what’s next.
If that doesn’t clear things up, a slightly quicker gist: It’s a social media network primarily targeted towards creatives. Although VFiles has over 300,000 followers on Instagram, it does not appear to have many people using its actual site. None of the four panel-selected designers for this week’s show had over 85 followers on VFiles. Those low numbers can’t be attributed to exclusivity, because it seems that anyone can sign up for an account on the main page. (Editor’s note: VFiles also has an online shop and a storefront in New York at 12 Mercer Street.)
Regardless of how influential VFiles actually is—or how influential I perceive them to be—the winners earned a solid prize: a spot at the show, support and guidance, and a season of mentorship from people such as Harlem tailor Dapper Dan. The designers covered a wide spectrum, and the show grew weirder and better as it went on. The strangest and penultimate designer was Sensen Lii of Antwerp-based Windowsen. It was demented in the nicest possible sense of the word. There were enormous platform shoes and flowy, colorful outfits that combined to create a distorted feel. The majority of Windowsen’s look felt reminiscent of a violent video game from 1998 that your parents wouldn’t let you play:
From left to right: ???, some Banjo-Kazooie shit, and a mermaid that looked more like a vibrant toilet brush.
I felt really bad for the toilet brush, as they couldn’t walk the runway so much as carefully trudge with little steps. It isn’t in the clip below, but at times the music featured maniacal laughter, which felt especially rude to these encumbered models (sorry for the vertical video):
The Chinese-born, also Antwerp-based Shuting Qiu was more coherently strange. She utilizes asymmetry and floral prints, according to her bio, and the collection certainly included that, although some of the models looked like two kites had crashed into them. The most interesting facet of the outfits was the various headpieces which obscured the mouth:
The headliner was VFiles’ Yellow Label by Paul Cupo, formerly of Hood by Air. His look was extremely late ‘80s, early ‘90s New York Barbie for the women, although one more adventurous outfit resembled Cynthia Pickles.
From left to right: Axel Foley, a shirt that’s too self-aware, and one interpretation of “I’m walkin’ here!”
Milwaukee-raised Elena Velez was the opener, and a stark contrast to the other designers. Her works didn’t use many colors and also incorporated metal framework. It felt like Yeezy but more provocative.
Marrknull wasn’t that interesting. The only quirk was that practically all the models were carrying phones in some various position. Give me more quirks. The Beijing-based womenswear brand aims to bring Chinese culture to the world, but the style and music showed some outfits that would belong to French schoolchildren. The only one that stood out was this cool wedding couple, with the bride donning a pink dress and visor:
At the end, the special guest was Lil Kim, who took her sweet time on the runway. (Sorry again for the vertical video.) Everyone ate it up, as expected:
Beyond the clothes, one thing on my mind the entire night was the themes of fame and influence. The room was full of people who were either famous or convincingly carried themselves as such. The only people I recognized outside of the show were model Shaun Ross and this kid from Sheck Wes’s video for “Mo Bamba”:
Despite the target audience for this show being five years younger and four degrees cooler than me, it was very enjoyable.
- Word of the night: YUUUUUUUURP
- The lighting was not on cue at times and it was really annoying. This is where the Nets and Islanders, two arguably professional sports teams, play. Get it together!
- A-Trak was in charge of the music, and he made sure to use a lot of flatulent bass.
- Artists who performed roughly one minute of music each in between collections, ranked in order of how good their name was: Jewnique, Barbieboy, Danays, Maya Hirasedo, Alex Mali, Coi Leray, Jean-Luc.
- After the show, a tall, beautiful woman outside the arena was posing for a photographer when another guy with a camera came up to her. “Are you famous?” he asked. “A little bit,” she said with a smile. No idea who she was.