V-Files Runway 9 at New York Fashion Week SS18

Wednesday night seen V-Files Runway mark their 9th show, and how else to celebrate than have Offset open the show by driving a bright yellow Lamborghini whilst his Metro Boomin collab with Drake, track "No Complaints" played in the background. The supercar would then act as some sort of centre stage of the runway for models to then walk around. However, this wasn't Offset's V-Files debut, he has previously (with the rest of American hip-hop trio Migos) walked in David Ferreira's catwalk show back in 2015. Jessie J also performed a track from her new album. The designers who shown yesterday evening included; JunJie Yang, Louis Pileggi, recent Central Saint Martins BA womenswear graduate Christian Stone and Chinese streetwear platform INXX.

Already what I hate about this write-up is that right from the get-go, the exuberant opening, what with Offset's entrance, Lamborghini included and overall club scene, party atmosphere and DJ sets in the loading bay of Brooklyn's Barclays Centre, that V-Files have become so well known for, is that it overshadows it's original intention, the FUCKING fashion. Read my opening paragraph, check the percentage in lines, words, even characters and you'll notice how very little there is write about the designers themselves in an opening statement of a collaborative, new talent fashion show. I would love to see a stripped-back V-Files next season with a focus on the clothes. No rappers, no DJ sets, no performances, no skateboards or scooters, no supercars, just the clothes and the credit and promise they may hold.

The first designer to show was JunJie Yang, a menswear designer based in Antwerp, Belgium. A slightly confusing collection, some pieces worked, others didn't. I particularly loved the padded, oversized coats with the almost leg "o" mutton type sleeves, some with cut-outs revealing an awkward but fascinating and highly erotic part of the arm, the bicep. Having said that, a pink version resembled a little too much of Thom Browne's muscle Thunderbirds from Spring 2015. I also found the shaggy fur coats with flames burning from the hem to be the most notable pieces from the show. Meanwhile, oversized floor-length bubble coats referenced a little too much of the ones seen in Shayne Oliver's Hood By Air Fall 2016 show, most specifically, the one held aloft as if an emotional lifejacket by Slava Mogutin, a Russian LGBT+ artist. It even zipped off in a similar manner. 

Next up was Louis Pileggi, the London-based Royal College of Art graduate. A dishevelled and tribal-like Victorian whore-like collection consisting of short, torn, tattered, ruched, sheer nylon garments, with an enthusiasm for dishevelled graphic Americana flags that were stitched into the garments. Perhaps the strongest pieces. Knitwear also came long and deconstructed in shades of brown, not the easiest colour to work with, also knitted were gloves that sometimes doubled as small bags and almost everything was frayed and falling apart. Accessorised with bowling shoes, which were a tacky but interesting and very American approach to footwear choice, sunglasses were purple and rose tinted and a dick necklace came ejaculating. A designer with hope and potential but a little sloppy in it's organisation and styling. The first of two who've been thinking of an apocalypse lately.

** At the midway point of the show, Jessie J performed a single from her new album. **

Third to show was the Chinese streetwear platform, INXX. Probably the least progressive in terms of fashion and a nothing but a blatant rip off of Vetements, Off/White and once again, Hood By Air. As for INXX though, there's were done to a much lesser standard, graphics featured a font best left in a early 2000's Windows computer game as could be said for most of the actual garments themselves. Sweatshirts came off-the-shoulder or worn backwards with torso showing (a nod to HBA) and denim came oversized, patch-worked and intentionally buttoned-up wrong, a hugely juvenile approach to styling in 2017. Overall, a collection that solidified an attention to excess dishevelment, a theme that ran throughout all the shows, however this was easily the worst collection of the night. Typical menswear shown at New York Fashion Week, irrelevant.  

Last but most certainly not least was recent womenswear BA graduate from Central Saint Martins, Christian Stone, or who I like to refer to as, "the one who saved Wednesday night's V-Files Runway 9." His goal is to genetically alter the codes of dressmaking into what they potentially might look like in his idea of a dystopian future, what he describes as "mutant artisanal." My favourite pieces were those breathtaking trousers, whose hems also act as backpacks. They were a hit during his graduate show. About a month back, I had an interesting conversation with a friend about gender identity in fashion and he told me that Christian was only one of few students at Central Saint Martins who studied womenswear but who's final complete collection was shown on boys. That's one of the many joys from Christian Stone's work, gender restrictions to fashion is completely forgotten about, something more designers during this season's V-Files should maybe have considered. Be sure to follow Christian on Instagram, his username is @imongrindr. Amazing.

Well that is all from the V-Files Runway this season, and in all honestly, with the exception of one, I feel thee worst V-Files in it's entire 9 seasons as a platform for new talent. Like I mentioned in my opening paragraph, I would love to see a stripped-back V-Files Runway, but with next season celebrating their 10th show, there's something telling me that might not happen anytime soon. In other news, I'm thrilled to be back talking about the fashion shows, check back for more updates at New York Fashion Week, Raf Simons' second men's and women's collection as Creative Director of Calvin Klein is what I feel most people, myself included are looking forward to throughout the week.  

Images courtesy of Vogue Runway and Dazed Digital

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