Monday, August 22, 2016

Off-White // Fall 2016 //

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who say streetwear exists and those who say it doesn’t. Virgil Abloh is a firm believer in streetwear; so much so he is teaching a Mastered class on the subject. “It gives me something to work around,” Abloh relayed to the Guardian, commenting on the oft overused word. Nasir Mazhar is opposed to the word. Speaking to Dazed he deems the word outdated and demeaning. You can see where he’s coming from—streetwear is quite the loose term, both Abloh and Mazhar have expanded on it, with focus on intellectuality and quality. That’s what separates these two purveyors of—to borrow the odious term—streetwear maestros. 

Abloh borrowed a literal reference to the streets for his Fall 2016 womenswear collection. Pretty Woman, the 1990 Gary Marshall film starring Julia Roberts as a sex worker and Richard Gere as a businessman. The story has been coined as a “modern Cinderella retelling”. The reference to the iconic film was blatant. A quote was taken from Roberts’ character’s interaction with a catty saleswoman who remarks nastily, “You’re obviously in the wrong place”. Neon lights read this as the guests filled the show space. 
It wasn’t the only obnoxious statement in the collection. A black tee screen printed with an image of Chateau Marmont read, “do you have a table tho?” There’s something about rude sentiments like this that both enamours and infuriates me. In true Abloh style he didn’t want it to be reduced to just a tee. It wasn’t—it was styled up with a pleated skirt, accented with a criss-cross belt motif. Casually styled with trainers, this is the kind of girl you expect to see blasting Halsey on a sweltering Los Angeles day, running errands and sipping a green juice. 

That same girl is probably obsessed with thrifting and Instagramming, and combining those two passions. Abloh fused them both seemingly well with cropped sweaters branded with “OFF” and high waisted trousers, boiled wool coats, a modern aviator jacket, backwards facing denim jackets and a denim-shirt fusion. Those didn’t feel like the main talking points despite the frisson.

One look was punctuated by gargantuan gold trousers; another by a lustrous biker jacket; a dress exploding with silver pleated fabric; heavily embellished denim or a photo print dress. Those were the strange pieces in the collection that felt like they belonged elsewhere. Shockingly, they upset the rhythm Abloh cultivated with the sharp styling in this collection. They knocked it and muddled the execution. Without those pieces this collection could’ve excelled; without those we would’ve seen true streetwear, for lack of a better term. 

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