Throughout his career, the heights of Abloh’s creativity were constantly evident in his multi dexterous approach to design, which in his final season saw the debut of high fashion, some thirty looks intertwined towards the end of the show.
It began with Bella Hadid wearing a deconstructed puff sleeve gown with a hiked skirt, teamed with trainers, followed by a bevvy of the original supermodels, including Cindy Crawford in a tiered mousseline skirt, Naomi Campbell wearing an ornate chandelier necklace and tuxedo coat, Helen Christensen in a yellow beaded gown that cascaded into a white frothy hem and Amber Valetta in a pastel and gold beaded slip dress with a never-ending train.
As for the ready-to-wear, there were the infamous separates adorned with quotes, like “Little Black Dress” and an evening jacket with “Smoking” stitched on the back. With Abloh the contents were often as they were stated on the tin. There was a cropped yellow sheepskin jacket and puffer coats that stood their own, as well as a plethora of oversized faux fur, the latter worn mostly by men. There were a multitude of Abloh statements in the way he elevated streetwear as seen in a printed mini with a kangaroo utility pocket; a yellow and navy checked blazer with a Swiss cheese appliqué; giant paperclip earrings and sneaker boots with weed embroideries.
The high quotient of celebrities from the executives of LVMH and New Guards Group to Rihanna, Pharrell Williams, who incidentally opened the show reading snippets of a previously recorded interview, and designers including Jonathan Anderson, Olivier Rousteing and Guram Gvasalia, all coming to pay tribute to Abloh’s final work.
Unlike Bottega Veneta, who saw its former creative exit in November, Off-White has yet to name a successor. It will be a role with “very big shoes” to fill.