Andrea Jiapei Li, one of the four finalists of this year’s VFiles Made for Fashion AW15 runway presentation, has quickly become my new favourite designer since I laid eyes on her graduate collection about a week ago. I mean, can you blame me? Anyone with a taste for dramatic shapes, fabric manipulation, pastels, and origami bows the size of your torso would be head over heels for her aesthetic. A follower of the Phoebe Philo / J. W. Anderson minimalist philosophy, Li is a recent Parsons grad and a native of Beijing. At the tender age of 24, she’s already accomplished a lot: semifinalist of the 2015 H&M Design Award; her spring summer collection stocked at Dover Street Market, internships at 3.1 Phillip Lim, Diane Von Furstenburg and Edun. It’s enough to make anyone ask “what the hell have I done?” It’s ok, babes. Just focus on the gorgeous shots of her clothes and start saving your Zara funds. Who knows? You might wear one of her pieces before Rihanna even gets the chance.
The VFiles Made for Fashion AW15 show is set to take place next Wednesday in New York, and Li isn’t the only designer worth knowing from the roster. Click after the jump for a breakdown of all the other talents, and be sure to let us know who you’re rooting for in the comments!
Zurich-based Julia Seemann is another immediate favourite. I am a fan of her compelling mix of different fabrics and textures. Also worth noting is her expert usage of denim. A traditionally casual/utilitarian textile, denim is elevated by Seemann from its humble origins to edgy high-concept silhouettes. The Zurich-based Seemann has interned for Vivienne Westwood and Meadham Kirchhoff, both housed London. This isn’t a coincidence, as I see a strong sense of the British avant garde and a fearlessness when it comes to colour in Seemann’s designs.
DI$COUNT UNIVER$EAustralian label DI$COUNT UNIVER$E is all about bright colours assembled in irreverent, tongue-in-cheek ways. Already a favourite among the attention-loving contingent of pop music, the Melbourne-based label achieved massive success when Miley Cyrus wore one of their t-shirts in a viral photoshoot with Terry Richardson last year. Since then, everyone from Katy Perry to Britney Spears, from Beyoncé to Iggy Azalea have wanted a piece of the brand to don in their music videos and public appearances. Much like another designer popular among pop stars, Jeremy Scott, there is a strong sense of rebelliousness and brat-itude in DI$COUNT UNIVER$E’s aesthetics. The woman who turns to these looks for a night out gives zero fucks about coordinating colours and dressing in “good taste”. So even though it might take some arm-twisting to get me in these ensembles, I gotta respect that solid middle finger to the fashion establishment.
If the above images look familiar, you should probably win an award for memory or something. Yes, we’ve sung praises for Russian menswear label Ximon Lee before. And no, this probably won’t be the last time. The young designer was the winner of this year’s H&M Design Award, and the first menswear designer to ever receive the honour, which is incredible in and of itself. Drawing inspiration from street life in post-soviet Russia, the Parsons grad constructed oversized layers of exaggerated shapes from found synthetic materials and re-patterned Salvation Army garments. The result is a series of intimidating looks that resemble deconstructed samurai armour, ideal for those frigid Siberian temperatures.
All images via VFiles