Off-White A/W 2018
Mood board: The staging for Virgil Abloh’s A/W 2018 collection was a red room installed at the Pompidou centre. For red, read new blood. Abloh has created a cult label in a short space of time, capturing the imagination and the evolution of Generation Z. Everywhere you turn, in cities around the world from Hong Kong to Hull, you’re faced with his recognisable branded security tag, strapped across knowing shoulders. The pulp illustration on the show’s invitation depicted a suited man wielding a knife on which his frenzied eyes reflect back at him; the Hitchcockian scene suggested a sense of dread, perhaps even self-loathing.
Best in show: The brand is connected to its fans – they are its bread and butter. Prior to the show, Abloh Instagrammed a photograph of a single pocket t-shirt, engineered to twist around the torso. The caption read: ‘primary show note in one iphone photo. pattern cutting an interns closet with a “twist”’. He’d spent time imagining how a younger generation might relate to traditional roles, and in most cases this meant traditional uniforms. Entitled ‘Business Casual’, the show opened with a neat grey pinstripe suit matched with a long sleeve twisted jersey top. A graphic wave jumper was skew; a white plastic mac well worn. The collection made the sartorial subversive. The clothes suggested the eradication of work/life balance. One model carried a jacket in its dry-cleaning bag – he is forever running to the studio and walking to the gym.
Finishing touches: In August last year, Abloh and Nike announced a partnership called ‘The Ten’ which will see the designer reconstruct 10 of the sportswear giant’s iconic styles. A previously unreleased pair of Air Jordan 1’s in a white colourway was unveiled in the show. With hints of light grey, orange and blue on the canvas, hanging off each pair is Off-White's signature plastic tag in baby blue; yet more merch to want.