Off-White S/S 2020 Paris Fashion Week Women’s
Scene setting: Earlier this month, Virgil Abloh announced that under doctor’s orders he would not be attending Off-White’s S/S 2020 women’s show and would be taking a three-month break. Burnout and exhaustion are all too familiar mental health issues which creative heads face in fashion, particularly when trying to achieve the precious balance between commerce and creativity. Virgil Abloh is one of fashion’s busiest players – heading up his own label, Louis Vuitton’s menswear, DJing around the world and working on a host of collaborative projects that span art and design. In June, a retrospective of Abloh’s output went on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in his home city of Chicago.
Abloh is an inspiring force, and the location of Off-White’s shows are always lined with a scrum of his eager fans. For the brand’s S/S 2020 show – held in a stark white-curtained lined space inside The Centre Pompidou – Abloh’s absence was counterbalanced with a Q&A recording of Dr. Mae Jemison, the first black woman to travel in space aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor, to young women in 2018, which played at the start of the show. Her inspirational rhetoric included the belief that people bestow ‘different incarnations of human creativity’.
Mood board: A host of models came out to support Abloh, from the Hadid sisters (Off-White favourites) to Georgina Grenville. They sported sleek sportswear, like ribbed vests with seductive cut-outs paired with wide leather trousers, parachute-like evening gowns, cagoules and floaty fish-net dresses. The mood was sleek and sexy, flitting between street, eveningwear and tailoring, in tones of mustard, black, ice blue and fuchsia.
Finishing touches: Accessories showed an interplay with the artisanal and the industrial. Wedged boots were laser cut with holes, like slices of Emmental cheese, soft knotted fabric bags were slung across the body and graphic metal earrings resembled toolbox components.
Paris Womenswear S/S 2020 Shows