Happiness is to be found when in pursuit of it, in the soothed expectation, on the way, not only upon the arrival. Accepting detours, just going the way, which is anyhow not this obvious to anyone.
Thomas Bettinelli

Happiness is just a hairflip away.
Chris Crocker


"The way the system works now, you see the clothes, within an hour or so they're online, the world sees them. They don't get to a store for six months. The next week, young celebrity girls are wearing them on red carpets. They're in every magazine. The customer is bored with those clothes by the time they get to the store. They're overexposed, you're tired of them, they've lost their freshness".
Tom Ford



For all the scaling up that Virgil Abloh has achieved in three short years, Off-White doesn't yet qualify as established. For now, this works in his favor; he can take bigger risks, fine-tune the brand identity, and exist as an outsider-insider. Titled "Mirror Mirror", this collection was represented by an imposing image of Parisian architecture -except this wasn't the actual building, but rather the trompe l'œil scenography that often conceals construction projects around the city. "A brand can be 100 years old; but the outward facade versus what's behind it can be totally different", he explained. So what's behind Off-White ? Essentially, Virgil Abloh's random access theories on representation and authenticity, which speak to a perspective far broader than fashion. And they percolate outward more clearly with his menswear than his women's, either because he relates better or because it's ultimately a stricter realm. The screen-printed concert tee-shirts and sweatpants that form his brand's genetic code have evolved to knitwear with openwork holes and organza sheer enough to look sweat-drenched. The imagery mixed macabre with symbolic : a W-shaped serpent nailed to a cross that opened the show, followed by a ghoulish hand puncturing a trio of Fs as if someone had just yelled the only expletive that requires "off". The scorpions seemed significant; as sequin appliques handcrafted in India and patched onto trousers, they were equally gratuitous and glamorous. The ample, high-waisted pants, along with the long coats, suggested liberal sampling; but then Virgil Abloh's strength as a designer still largely comes from the fact that he is an unapologetic fan. Hence a collection rife with riffs on memorabilia : a knitted portrait of Liam & Noel Gallagher, an appropriated WWII A-2 flight jacket in pliant leather, and soccer scarves heralding his brand. Mr Abloh gave certain guests disposable "cameras" (like all things Off-White, they were packaged and branded in quotation marks) to document the moment from multiple perspectives. These "photographers" were then asked to return the cameras. As a clever mirror-mirror twist, Virgil Abloh conceived his own crowd-sourced souvenir.

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