Would You Mix a Ballgown with Sneakers and a Sports Bra? Off-White Would

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Ironically, Off-White’s Spring/Summer 2019 show was very white – optic white – at least for the first half before it veered dramatically into neon territory. Irony is something we’re used to seeing from Off-White, particularly with its parenthetical documentation of the objects it shows on the runway, but this time around it extended to the color palette as well. Was that intentional? It’s hard to tell. We’re living in Virgil Abloh’s world now, and he is a master of obscuring the intent behind his designs.

Recently, on the heels of his first collection as the brand new menswear Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton, Abloh declared that he wasn’t a designer. So what is he? He is a remix artist, a master of sampling a bit of this from that collection and a bit of that from this collection and weaving an athletic thread through it all to make it coherent. It’s all very zeitgest-y, but now Abloh has entered new territory by remixing his own past works for Off-White.

Last year, Abloh’s collaboration with Nike was a massive success. His ten reimagined styles from the Nike archives – including classics like ‘Air Force 1’ and ‘Air Jordan’ – were the “It” item that every sneakerhead on earth clamored to own. For Spring/Summer 2019, he channelled that same energy into reworking and recutting swaths of Nike logo’d fabric into sporty leggings and knit vests. His sporty pieces were surprisingly paired with long bohemian dresses, twee eyelet frocks, tailored blazers, and floor-scraping, voluminous skirts. The overall look of his sporty-meets-sophisticated combinations was definitely cool, but it would have been even better to see it in different colors.

Photo: Courtesy of Imaxtree

He defiantly insists that remixing is the language of the future.

We got what we wanted about halfway through the show when a series of neon-yellow looks arrived, followed by baby-blue velvet trousers, beige bodysuits, and sheer black dresses. Snakeskin neons also appeared at the finale, cast on mini skirts, trousers, blouses, and one ruffled gown at the end. Those will look cool on Instagram.

They say there’s nothing new under the sun, and certainly no one has taken that more to heart in the fashion design realm than Abloh. He doesn’t apologize for his outlook either. Instead, he defiantly insists that remixing is the language of the future. This collection reflects a future-forward aesthetic that plays with well-established codes and, while none of the clothes felt new individually, their high/low combinations felt fresh.

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