No Holds Barred
Politics has been at the very core of many shows this fashion month, understandably, given the current (much-discussed) climate and the furore of the UK’s recent snap election. For OFF-WHITE’s guest slot at Florence Pitti Uomo, the political undercurrent bubbled beyond mere inspiration, manifesting in a very public, no-holds-barred political display.
For SS18, founder and designer (and Kanye’s bestie), Virgil Abloh teamed up with neo-conceptual artist Jenny Holzer, famed for her projected slogans which put the spotlight on social injustice and seek to induce social change. The result of the collaboration between OFF-WHITE and Holzer saw a mise-en-scene laced with politically-pumped slogans. Outside, words about the pricelessness of man were projected onto the building while inside, political poetry was projected around the catwalk. For Holzer, fashion collabs are nothing new: she famously teamed up with Helmut Lang on several collaborations, the first of which was in the mid-90s at the Florence Biennale, where she created an LED light to go alongside a unique exhibition produced by Lang, I Smell You on My Clothes.
Orange Is The New Black
A recurring theme throughout the collection was the infusion of bright orange. Appearing on shoes, hoods, zippers and sunglasses (to name but a few), the colour was similar to that of a life vest – a potential nod towards immigrants fleeing their home country by sea, further instilling the political themes that Holzer successfully imported with her projects. Elsewhere throughout the collection, monochrome hues seemed to be the palette of choice, succeeding in making the orange stand out even further against the minimal backdrop.
Although OFF-WHITE has become synonymous with streetwear in it’s most artistic form, this season Abloh brought a tailored edge to his creations as a potential tip-of-the-hat towards Pitti’s rich tailoring legacy. Otherwise edgy sheer jackets were given a touch of structure and relaxed shirts received oversized collars for a more formational edge. Overall, the unity between streetwear and tailoring was successfully achieved, with the designer ensuring that this fan-fave brand still appealed to the millennial masses.