Fashion

Meet the VFiles SS ’16 Roster

Fashion

Meet the VFiles SS ’16 Roster

Namilia
Moses Gauntlett Cheng
Feng Chen Wang
David Ferriera
Kozaburo
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NYFW kicked off last night with VFiles’ vision for the next generation of fashion, and if their over-the-top spectacle was any indicator of what’s to come, the future is one packed with confident sexuality (see Namilia’s penis-shaped bra and, “Think Outside the Cock,” chest piece) and brave gender ambiguity (see Moses Gauntlett Cheng’s model lineup and Feng Chen Wang’s silhouettes). Ahead of the show, we caught up all five promising new labels—eight designers total—to discuss their SS ’16 collections in-depth.

Namilia

Namilia Bullett Edit

On inspiration:

Nan Li: “It all started with Instagram and how it’s really changing our perceptions of beauty, and how it’s a more democratic approach to femininity with Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus and all the pop stars—they were really inspiring to us. Each outfit in the collection is based on one of those characters, so we were really trying to work the individual characteristics of these figures in a very ironic way into each look.”

On American pop culture:

NL: “When I was 16, I spent a year in Las Vegas, I did a year of high school there through a student exchange program, and American pop culture somehow changed my personality. Since then, we’ve been really obsessed with pop; growing up in Europe, pop is kind of looked down upon and not accepted. We had mixed reviews about our collection in Europe and I feel like Americans are so much more open about sexuality and femininity in a really celebratory way.”

On the VFiles process:

NL: “By getting chosen to showcase at VFiles, it’s opened up a wider audience for us; it’s our first season, and especially showing to the American market, our brand is so much about pop culture and celebrity culture, it’s really great to be able to share our statement and vision.”

Emilia Pfo: “We’ve loved working with all these great people at VFiles, like Akeem [Smith] and even the makeup artists. Before, we were doing this all alone, studying and being at University, and now with VFiles, everything’s starting to feel real.”

 

Moses Gauntlett Cheng:

MGC bullett edit

On inspiration:

Esther Gauntlett: “It started with an agricultural fantasy, I would say. We were thinking about farming, specifically this idea of being isolated on a farm, and we conjured up this sexy Italian farmwife. Jenny and I both went to Italy and everything just got glam after that.”

David Moses: “A big inspiration was Sofia Loren, and not only this sexy farm wife, but also her glam red carpet look.”

EG: “Yes, current day, like 80-year-old Italian mama on the red carpet, and she’s wearing a choker and sunglasses and earrings, and she’s done.”

On the VFiles process:

EG: “A friend of mine said, ‘It’s time for the big girl collection.’ We really pushed ourselves in terms of finishes and we also made this entire collection in three weeks. There were a lot of sleepless nights.”

DM: “I think we were very ambitious with this collection; there’s a lot of beading, there’s a lot of really, really beautifully finished pieces.”

EG: “And incredible textiles with some of the knits and belts.”

Jenny Cheng: “There is a jacquard linen belt that says, ‘Time To Say Goodbye.’ We’ve been listening to the Andrea Bocelli song, ‘Time To Say Goodbye,’ nonstop.”

On working with Mel Ottenberg:

JC: “We were going to have this girl wear a thong with her ‘lips’ out and then he said it was a bit of a childish gimmick; he said that if we were going to amp it up there, we’d need to amp it up everywhere.”

DM: “[There are] no lips, now. There’s enough skin in the show as is.”

 

Feng Chen Wang

Fen Bullett Edit

On inspiration:

“I’m an emotional designer, so my collection, which was my graduate collection, was my wish to carry out my father’s story. I spent a whole summer with him dealing with liver cancer, and it was quite a hard time for me. In the hospital, I remember only seeing black and white colors; I added the green into my collection because I didn’t want to give up the positive memory that my father was really strong. We want to have green hope in my life and in my father’s life.”

On silhouette:

“I was thinking about livers, hearts and everything inside [your body], so you can see that my collection is really shaped by those ideas. It’s simple, but sometimes simple can be really deep and we need to use our hearts to feel that.”

 

David Ferriera

David Ferreira Bullett Edit

On inspiration:

“The concept behind my collection was creating a muse, mixing the movie Orlando with Tilda Swinton and the Empress Dowager Cixi, so my woman is sort of a time traveler—she’s fabulous in all eras. It’s taking the eastern world, with my corsetry and binding, and giving expression to all the extreme shapes; all the boning came from Orlando. I played with boning from really hard to more soft. There’s a lot of embellishment done one-by-one, and all the ruffles are also hand stitched one-by-one.”

On the VFiles process:

“When I applied, I didn’t think it would ever be real. I thought it’d just be great for mentors to see my work and even if I didn’t win and make it to the runway, maybe someone would see my work and use it for a photoshoot or something. VFiles brings so many people together with such diverse minds; all the designers presenting are so different, which I think is amazing.”

 

Kozaburo

Ko Bullett Edit

On inspiration:

“This collection is my first collection for Kozabeuro; all the clothing is something I’d like to wear, or something my friends would want to wear. Generally, I’m interested in men’s clothing and music; I was specifically inspired by a vintage record I found, covered in sandpaper; the actual content of the record was beautiful, sensitively crafted music. I like the juxtaposition of aggressiveness with sensitivity, and tried to execute that in the clothing. Some garments are made to look like sandpaper, but lined with vintage cotton bedding; it’s all hand stitched or hand tailored. It’s street, but it’s high fashion, again playing up the possibilities of juxtaposition.”

On the VFiles process:

“I’ve never done a group show besides maybe a graduate collection at school. So many people have been involved in the process of the show with different mentors like Akeem Smith holding meetings and trying to see what direction we wanted to take our part of the presentation. That’s been a very new experience for me.”