Virgil Abloh has often spoken about his desire to make fashion more inclusive. By posting an open invitation on Instagram to his Off-White men’s show he proved it was not empty talk — even if it meant flouting the guidelines set out by organizers of Paris Fashion Week in light of the state of emergency in France.
Luckily, there was no mob scene and no repeat of the fight that broke out between rapper Theophilus London and stylist Ian Connor at Abloh’s book signing a few days earlier. More than 100 kids watched the show standing and later joined the party backstage.
Abloh titled the collection “Mirror Mirror,” saying it was all about appearances. “The whole premise of the collection is facade. There’s a facade of every brand, whether it’s a monogram or a logo – something you know,” he said during a preview.
In Off-White’s case, that would be its signature diagonal stripe motif, which appears on everything from sweatshirts to sneakers and socks. He expanded the repertoire this season with a series of intarsia knits and sheer white logo T-shirts, which were paired with tweed basketball shorts or overlong plaid pants.
Abloh name-checked Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher, who inspired his collaboration with Umbro on items including a patchwork plaid flannel top. He brought in artist Brendan Fowler, who created fabric replicas of his stacked photographs that were pinned to the front of a hoodie or the back of a coat.
The designer and his contemporaries — among them Demna Gvasalia and Gosha Rubchinskiy — are taking on the establishment by operating in a pack and some crossover between the various lines was apparent in this collection. The kids who thronged the show can’t get enough.