Designer Virgil Abloh is still finding the voice for his Off-White label, which is just in its fourth year. For the Off-White fall/winter 2017-18 collection, presented at Paris Fashion Week, he sent down a short lineup of clothes that were basic yet new with refined sensibilities.
The staging was eerie yet inviting, as the setup was so organically fall. He used a setup much like the one from his joint pre-fall and menswear collection in January – birch trees, a runway paved amid brown leaves and a light fog hanging over the scene. Repetition isn’t always a good thing, but in this case, it was a solid idea on which to present a fall lineup, so it’s excusable here.
Abloh opted for some staple fall fabrics and styles for his Off-White fall 2017 lineup, but also gave them his personal twists and design characteristics. Plaid for fall is a timeless trend, and Abloh opened his show with a series in ensembles created in the fabric – and not much else.
The opening look, worn by Bella Hadid, was a cropped plaid jacket worn with a high-slit, high-waisted pencil skirt and thigh-high plaid boots. It sounds like a lot, but with the setting it managed to work. For future streetwear purposes, though, the individual looks are on trend and casual for daywear.
The plaid trend continued through the first part of the lineup, before breaking for a couple of flowing pink pieces. The first, a draped gown, had a lot of movement but was a bit too unprecedented for the lineup, even with the plaid boots worn with it. Its formality would fit far more fluidly with the more formal attire that popped up toward the end of the lineup. Even still, the dress had enough of a stage presence to not detract much from the cohesion to that point.
The second pink look, a jumpsuit, read as more casual, and was paired with a plaid jacket, so it was more ingrained into the casual vibe of the line.
Denim and a royal blue velvet were the next up for the designer, with basic silhouettes mixed with some interesting concepts. The most notable thing about the denim in general was the masterful tailoring of the jeans. They were classic cuts and designs, and are great options for streetwear.
But it wasn’t all basic. An open-front skirt had the silhouette more often associated with a more flowy fabric, so it had a fresh new take on the classic idea of a “denim skirt.”
Many of Abloh’s velvet pieces featured cutouts. A velvet top paired with classic jeans had random cutouts, and was worn over a plain top to add depth and structure to the otherwise basic look.
The formal attire came around in the same abrupt fashion as the other “transitions” of the Off-White fall 2017 ready-to-wear line; but the silhouettes were quite lovely. A large fur coat, mostly in navy, was a surprisingly luxe addition, but flowing blue and black dresses wisped down the runway with beautiful movement, and lace actually brought some designs to a higher plane.
Abloh began to go on a mini tangent at the end of the show, with pieces that didn’t seem quite so grounded in the lineup. Aluminum-colored pieces were layered over nude garments, and birds were laid over mesh body pieces to draw the runway show to a close. Despite their lack of cohesion, the pieces themselves were quite darling and innovative.
By the end of the show, Abloh had created a story arc for his Off-White fall/winter 2017-18 collection that read as basic and wearable while still having new and innovative designs throughout.
Photos courtesy of Vogue