Off-White S/S 2018

Off-White S/S 2018

Mood board: it’s been twenty years since the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. In light of this anniversary, there’s been a renewed interest in the style of the revered royal, and across the internet, online stories have celebrated the top fashion moments of a woman who throughout her tenure as Princess and human rights activist, was applauded (and at times criticised) for her royal style (the strapless black gown Diana wore at her first royal engagement in March 1981 took up considerable column inches in the press). For Off-White’s S/S 2018 show, Virgil Abloh paid tribute to the Princess- a dedication he announced in the weeks running up to the nighttime event. The show’s clear plastic invitation, revealed a collection simply entitled ’Natural Woman’. It featured a particularly poignant and iconic image of Diana sat on the diving board of Mohammed Al Fayed’s yacht in Portofino, looking serene and sun kissed in a sky blue swimming costume, a week before her death. 

Mood board: Less a homage but more a modern interpretation of a royal wardrobe, Abloh presented a collection that nodded to the role the Princess performed to the media and the more relaxed role she took in her home life. There were ruffled net evening gowns, tailored coats and pretty floral prints. An eighties abstract print blouse riffed on a piece that Diana wore to a polo match in 1983, while the combination of suiting and sugary shades, emphasised the dual role of a woman part princess, part passionate social campaigner. Diana was also a fan of workout wear- she famously sued tabloid newspaper The Mirror for its publication of images taken of her exercising at a London gym. For the show’s final look Naomi Campbell walked the runway in a tailored peplum jacket complete with spandex workout shorts.

Finishing touches: Abloh collaborated with Jimmy Choo on the footwear in the collection. The brand’s creative director Sandra Choi created court shoes and strappy sandals which were wrapped in plastic. A nod to a Cinderella glass slipper? In biographies of the Princess, it has been noted that during her courtship with Prince Charles, she preferred cleaning the kitchen of the flat she shared with her girlfriends, to sojourns to Sandringham and other media-worthy engagements.

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