Off White Fall/Winter 2020 Collection

Virgil Abloh’s Fall/Winter 2020 showing defies “labels.”

Virgil Abloh’s Off White had brought the quotation mark to new heights of social media stature, in a time when labeling and black and white categories seemed a thing of the past – see Abloh’s Louis Vuitton Yellow Brick Road debut for reference.

In a showing of cowhide and houndstooth prints, tulle skirts, and a model casting that traveled the porous border of age, Abloh left behind Off White’s long dependable streetwear rep, and a runway of crossbreed couture, athleisure and workwear walked into the Parisian night.

Athleisure performance pieces toned down Haute gowns, while grunge nuances seemed to glance backward, say somewhere near the 1980/90s, to a time when Carolyn Murphy modeled Gucci’s ’96 fall collection in a hip-exposed white dress – shyly similar to the white jersey piece she donned last night.

That sticky, silent sense of nostalgia held its role in the Off White show – a memory of a garment within a garment – yet to a larger extent, Abloh finds the core of Off White’s branding in an external landscape. “I occupy, clearly, a space that represents my upbringing, my view looking at the climate outside—relating to what happens outside the industry, not inside,” he said in a preview just hours before Bella Hadid opened the show in a monochromatic-black-tulle- boundary-breaking-floor-grazing-low-impact-exercise-compatible couture. “The ethos of Off-White is it’s not just clothes. My inspiration and motivation is more the humanity level.”

That goodwill transcended mere dressing as Abloh merged an ever-divided generational gap (especially in modeling) as a trifecta of Hadids anchored the show – Bella opening, Gigi closing, and, after a 35-year runway-absence, Yolanda Hadid midway through. Names the likes of: Karlie Kloss, Noémie Lenoir, Mariacarla Boscono, and Isabeli Fontana gilded the Off White lily with their seasoned effortlessness, as a sports-stadium just outside of Paris became, without peer, the buzziest of its kind.


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