Off-White A/W 2019 Paris Fashion Week Men’s
Scene setting: Guests sat and waited for Abloh’s show to start, staring at a sprawling city Arcadia. Ferns, ivy, twigs and bark were all piled up into the middle of the space, cloaked in green-screen carpeting. The jungle had grown around large concrete pillars, their wire supports jutting out as if they had been left unfinished. The regeneration of a city on pause – a dystopian peak into a not-too-abstract future. The show opened to the jazzy theme tune of the 1960s American children’s TV show, Mister Rogers’ Neighbourhood. The lyrics were heard to go: ‘It's a neighbourly day in this beauty wood/A neighbourly day for a beauty/Would you be mine?/Could you be mine?’ The models took a stroll through the wood of unloved greenery. Those watching via live stream experienced various digital interventions designed by the Milanese arts collective Alterazioni Video.
Mood board: Although Abloh didn’t say anything backstage after the show, the mood might have been urban wasteland meets suburban angst. The title of the show, ‘Public Television,’ was graffitied onto graphic yellow looks. The clothes had the proportions of a dad’s wardrobe. Tailored jackets were elongated, worn just a little too big. Stonewashed jeans were oversized too and fell low to the ground, waistbands ruched with dégradé shoelace drawstrings. Other tailored pieces were plaid at the back and raw edged on shoulder seams. Abloh is known for his more athletic pieces – the hoodies, puffa outerwear and nylon patchwork fleeces were here but standout were the tailored suits. Longer-sleeves trailed over the hands, spongy textures kept their shape and trousers were fluid. The models wore cowboy boots draped in chains with ‘LIFE’S WORK’ printed on their sides. Abloh’s highly successful The Ten sneaker collaboration with Nike recently ended; the sneakers for autumn/winter 2019 were developed in-house. They had toothy soles.
Finishing touches: Abloh is debuting an eponymous jewellery collection in Paris during the menswear shows. Teased via Instagram, the artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear posted an image of a box labelled ‘Recycled Jumbo Paper Clips’ and the brand name ‘Virgil Abloh.’ He has been developing the collection of pavé diamond paperclip necklaces and bracelets for three years. They will go on sale at a special pop up shop at Hôtel Costes from 17-29 January. You’ll be able to buy bunches of flowers said to be ‘curated’ by the man himself. The pop polymath isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
London based writer Dal Chodha is editor-in-chief of Archivist Addendum — a publishing project that explores the gap between fashion editorial and academe. He writes for various international titles and journals on fashion, art and culture and is a contributing editor at Wallpaper*. Chodha has been working in academic institutions for more than a decade and is Stage 1 Leader of the BA Fashion Communication and Promotion course at Central Saint Martins. In 2020 he published his first book SHOW NOTES, an original hybrid of journalism, poetry and provocation.
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