Waffle Crew and Unlock the Truth open the show. Image courtesy of VFILES.

VFILES opened New York Fashion Week for a seventh year last Wednesday night. It featured five collections: Ground Zero, Rushemy Botter, Sanchez-Kane, Song Seoyoon, and Alessandro Trincone. Each were discovered through the VFILES site, which aims to connect young creatives globally.

Local metal band Unlocking the Truth opened while dance crew, Waffle NYC, performed. Along with VFILES resident DJ, Atrak, the musicians and dancers wore Camo Out, a tech based clothing collaboration between VFILES and Mountain Dew. For the finale, Playboi Carti performed a live version of “WHAT” as models strutted around for the last walk.

The designers were chosen not only by the VFILES team but a panel of judges and mentors which included Pat McGrath, Naomi Campbell, and Young Thug, who rocked Rushemy Botter for the event and recently debuted his latest album, Jeffery, wearing an Alessandro Trincone dress. One much talked about moment from the show was when the rapper rose from his seat to fix the collar on of Botter’s models.

Song Seoyoon via VFILES.
Song Seoyoon. Image courtesy of VFILES.

With blood bags serving as one of many inspirations, designer Song Seoyoon sent down looks that were suspended in plastic coatings, and reconstructed pieces where sleeves were taken off and sewn somewhere completely new. Beauty looks included smeared red lipstick and markings similar to pre-operation measurements. Seoyoon displayed a collection where chaos met an offbeat control.

Sanchez-Kane via VFILES.
Sanchez-Kane. Images courtesy of VFILES.

While Sanchez-Kane started with Mexican-heritage vibes, it was clear that was just the tip of the iceberg. There was BDSM hardware aplenty, but superimposed with subtle, yet lengthy social justice statements. These included “‘No’ is a complete sentence and does not require justification or explanation,” a nod towards the elimination of rape culture. All three influences combined to make statement pieces that are hard to forget.

Ground Zero via VFILES.
Ground Zero. Image courtesy of VFILES.

Perhaps the most wearable of the group, Ground Zero, brought us kawaii meets Hotrod meets modern streetwear. Set in a pastel and star spangled color theme, Ground Zero definitely brought back some nostalgic, almost cartoonish feelings, that were whimsical yet practical at the same time, a feat that displayed the designer duo’s talents.

Alessandro Trincone via VFILES.
Alessandro Trincone. Image courtesy of VFILES.

Alessandro Trincone, the man behind Young Thug’s Jeffery dress, which was also seen on the runway, presented us with a sculptural treat of pleats, ruffles, and modernized Kasa hats that seemed simultaneously airy and carved of stone at once. In a muted white, grey, and blue palette, the designer showed that such volume didn’t mean chaos. All of his skirts, shirts, and every ruffle were immaculately tailored to a point where some of the pieces even could be wearable on the daily.

Rushemy Bottre via VFILES.
Rushemy Botter. Image courtesy of VFILES.

While most models in Botter’s show donned schoolgirl-esque bowler hats complete with ribbons, other looks channeled a mix of the feminine and masculine with ease, combining structured outerwear with floral appliqués, silky fabrics, and pops of pink. Add this to a headpiece reading “enemy of terrorism” and you have a collection questioning gender norms and general societal boundaries.

Overall, the VFILES show was thought provoking and brimming with newly discovered talent, untouched by marketing pressure and full of unadulterated inspiration. Those in attendance were definitely not disappointed.

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