What do race cars, business attire, party frocks, and menswear have in common? That’s for Virgil Abloh to say and you to find out. For his Fall 2019 collection, the designer mashed-up references from around the Off-White world, bringing together fleece and jersey suiting and sweeping cotton gowns in an arena on the outskirts of Paris. The mission? To evolve the Off-White look well beyond the streetwear label so often cast upon Abloh’s work. “The streetcar I rolled in was streetwear. But now it’s commonplace. I’m intrigued by the empowered woman who wants to dress in a feminine but chic way,” he said before the show.
Feminine but chic, in the Off-White lexicon, is not quite the polished bourgeois attitude that trended elsewhere in Paris, but a savvy conceal-reveal proposition that puts women in charge. Backstage before the show, Dilone modeled her menswear-inspired coat with nothing underneath, while Karlie Kloss slunk into a yellow dress with a train so long it required the constant attention of three helpers. For the party girl, a mini-suit worn by Grace Elizabeth; for the power broker, sleek white shirting and black trousers as modeled by Ruth Bell.
Watch how it all came together in Abloh’s atelier in the days leading up to the show—and get a glimpse of the chaos and calm backstage—in Vogue Runway’s exclusive video, here.