Off-White S/S 2020 Paris Fashion Week Men’s
Mood board: The pop polymath behind Off-White has a lot on – a large retrospective of his work just opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Abloh’s approach cuts through and around multimedia; his Paris show charted his connective, collaborate approach across the visual arts, music, architecture and, of course, fashion. Backstage, Abloh talked about legacy – the Chicago show has put him in a reflective mood. What will Off-White look like in 30 years time? With this in mind, his S/S20 collection felt more refined than ever before – the street savvy silhouette was there, but the messaging had rigour and power.
Team work: Abloh’s staging is often a commentary on humankind and our impact on the world – last season the models walked through a maze of suburban decay in a sprawling inner city Arcadia. The set for S/S 2020 was a field of white carnations. Each bobbed lightly during the show and at the finale the models romped through the flora. A sky blue sci-fi figure stood forebodingly in the middle of it all. Constructed by cult American graffiti artist Futura aka Lenny McGurr, the sculpture heralded a much bigger collaboration; McGurr worked on linear scrawling prints which appeared throughout the collection. Abloh remarked that McGurr started his career by tagging trains illegally on the New York subway in the early 1970s and within a decade had ended up in group shows with Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. The parallel with Abloh’s own meteoric rise was clearly made.
Best in show: The show was titled ‘Plastic’. Abloh explained the material was something of a metaphor for transformation. It has gone from utility to polarising issue. ‘I’m using it here as a metaphor to talk about culture,’ he said. The show opened to the sounds of a train and a young Björk talking about her way of living in the vastness and magic of Iceland. Abloh’s collection channelled a sense of adventure too in the climbing uniform style. Baggy tie-dye cargo pants were sprinkled with diamanté; a matching ripstop jacket came with ‘MODERN’ written across the chest. There were zipped up denim shirts, multipocket bags and plastic Pac a Macs. Suiting featured curved seams on the front. There was an active/outdoorwear repositioning – a long sleeved jersey was panelled into a T-shirt. Done in knit, a cycling vest boasted graphic patches. §