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Off-White Ready To Wear Fall 2022 Paris

Off-White Ready To Wear Fall 2022 Paris

Naomi Campbell, Serena Williams and Cindy Crawford walked in the brand’s star-studded tribute show to its founder Virgil Abloh.

It’s no mean feat these days to upstage Rihanna and A$AP Rocky, the world’s most famous expecting couple, sitting front row at a fashion show.

It took the combined star wattage of Serena Williams, Cindy Crawford and her daughter Kaia Gerber, Naomi Campbell, Bella and Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, Joan Smalls, Amber Valletta and Helena Christensen, who were just a few of the boldface names to walk the runway at Off-White’s tribute show to its founder Virgil Abloh on the opening day of Paris Fashion Week.

A giant chandelier hung low over the catwalk at Palais Brongniart, where Off-White staged its first runway display since Abloh passed away in November. It was a multidisciplinary affair, livestreamed from dozens of local storefronts in Paris, including the Galeries Lafayette department store. The event also marked the brand’s arrival on TikTok, with the platform’s first interactive live show.

The late designer’s wife Shannon, and his children Grey and Lowe, joined guests including Pharrell Williams, Idris Elba, Paul Pogba, Carla Bruni and Luka Sabbat, as well as fellow designers such as Olivier Rousteing, Grace Wales Bonner, Jerry Lorenzo, Marcelo Burlon, Tremaine Emory and Nigo. “This really feels like a celebration,” said Tracee Ellis Ross as she took in the bustling pre-show scene. 

On the runway, cameramen swooped around the models dressed in outfits ranging from a sharp black pantsuit to a sparkly lilac micro minidress and chunky quilted jackets and hiking boots, part of a new skiwear capsule for women and men. Williams, who has worn custom Off-White outfits on the tennis court, walked in a tie-dye print bodysuit with ruched leggings, topped with a figure-hugging sheer sleeveless dress.

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The men’s outfits fused skateboarding and snowboarding elements with traditional sartorial codes. A tartan duffle coat, long pleated skirt and pants were layered for an allover look reminiscent of Abloh’s gender-fluid designs for Louis Vuitton, while a blue varsity jacket and baggy beige cargo pants were topped with a chunky furry jacket. 

A couple of models brandished flags emblazoned with the founder’s guiding philosophy, “Question Everything,” telegraphing a sense of continuity for the brand, which is majority-owned by luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

A polymath frequently compared to Karl Lagerfeld, Abloh was active in fields ranging from DJing to furniture design. The word “Face,” in his signature quotation marks, was written across models’ cheekbones, in a teaser for the brand’s first beauty collection, set to launch this spring.

But the big news was the launch of the “High Fashion” line, with a show of 28 looks that read like a who’s who of modeling. This was haute couture for the Gen-Z set, underlined by the casual attitude of the models sweeping past in layers of mille-feuille pleating and heavy trains, sporting headgear ranging from baseball caps the size of riding helmets to elongated bucket hats.

Bella Hadid, dangling a pair of heels from her wrist, wore her pouf-skirted wedding gown with sneakers and a baseball cap embroidered with the word “Babe” tucked over her wedding veil, while Kendall Jenner accessorized her skimpy LBD with a can of soda.

Off-kilter details abounded: distorted polka dots seemed to slide off a siren gown, while a giant PVC backpack was stuffed with pills — not to mention the “Pilou-Pilou” look, a green monster suit covered in shaggy velvet fringing. The finale outfit featured a densely ruffled skirt so heavy, it required its own leash. 

The message was clear: Abloh may be gone, but the ideas he left behind are endless — and the brand has the reach to keep them flowing. Rest in power, indeed.

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