The LVMH conglomerate plans to turn Off-White into the next Dior.
Virgil Abloh’s last runway collection, presented in July 2021, announced the brand’s commitment to “haute couture”. After a year of digital presentations due to the pandemic, the recently deceased designer brought Off-White back to the Paris catwalk presenting it as a handcrafted, first-class luxury that deserved to be mentioned alongside Louis Vuitton.
His Fall-Winter 2022 collection, therefore, would have (apparently) been the last one Abloh would oversee for the brand. While the question of who or what collective might take over the company in the future remains unanswered, the presentation provided a clear and strong indication of what Off-White will look like in the post-Abloh era.
The show, titled Spaceship Earth, an “Imaginary Experience” was divided into two parts. The first, men’s tailoring with a more “grown-up” and classic tone stood out for its formal cleanliness. Abloh’s tailoring at Vuitton was maximalist and complex, while at Off-White the path was more classic. A three-button herringbone coat and a gorgeous brown blazer with a plaid belt were especially applauded. Also some tartan shirt-skirt-pant ensembles. At this point some models additionally wore white flags with an inscription quoting the classic Ablohism, “QUESTION EVERYTHING,” ask yourself questions about everything, an obvious homage to Virgil Abloh and fashion.
For the second half, the Off-White team saved the best: musician Ian Isiah took the stage, grabbed everyone’s attention in a black velvet tuxedo, while and lit up a joint, inaugurating Off-White’s first official haute couture collection, or “haute couture,” according to the show notes. Detroit techno legend Jeff Mills started playing house music and while renowned models such as Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford or the Hadid sisters, etc., walked the runway. His designs represented a type of woman: the bride, the businesswoman and the diva, are archetypes known in the Parisian ateliers, but also the figures of the skater, wearing an oversized varsity jacket over a tulle skirt, the footballer, wearing a soccer vest with embroidered crystals and shorts, and even the stripper, wearing a black satin brasserie over a vintage Grateful Dead T-shirt.
In conclusion, a proposal that honored the man behind it, his codes and his particular way of understanding fashion. Or in other words, an extension of who he was.