We’re a few hours into New York Fashion Week, and with most of the heavyweight shows and industry darlings yet to come, it is perhaps too soon to call the tone of the week. But last night’s VFiles show shifted the direction a little left of center.
To the uninitiated, VFiles is more than just a label. Founded in 2012 to give emerging designers a platform for discovery, the concept marries a retail space with a digital community and offers a handful of brands the opportunity to show on the New York Fashion Week runway each season. Now in its sixth year, the “Made Fashion” runway show offers an answer to the enduring question, “what’s next?” Labels like Hood by Air and Gypsy Sport have been able to get a head start and contribute to the conversation thanks to VFiles.
This season, designers Ottolinger and Sophie Hardeman induced Snapchat mania on the VFiles catwalk with new takes on denim, dogs on the runway, and something we’ve decided to call backwards-chaps. Did this season’s Rick Owens models-wearing-models moment come early? And is it a sign of a less buttoned-up NYFW ahead? Time, and about four dozen more runways shows, will tell.
And for those who are quick to roll their eyes and dismiss the above-mentioned showmanship as gimmicky, consider Vetements. The Paris-based design collective and current darling of the fashion world ushered in a new movement of alternative dressing with its offbeat, born-in-the-underground mandate. We may not wear that strategically cutout sweater like Regina George, or hit the streets carrying two Chihuahuas under our arms like fresh baguettes, but it got us talking, didn’t it?
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