Bella Hadid, Amber Valletta, and Candice Swanepoel all took to the catwalk for Off-White’s first physical event in 16 months over the weekend.
Bella opened the label's autumn 21 ready-to-wear show, dubbed the ‘Laboratory of Fun’, held as part of Paris Couture Week on Sunday. Taking to the runway, the American model turned heads in a striking electric blue velour tube minidress and matching knee-high boots.
While the show was an assault on the senses packed with vibrant colours and fabrics, the outfits suggest the brand is adopting a more sophisticated approach to fashion, and backstage, creative director Virgil Abloh revealed the Covid-19 pandemic had a huge impact on the new collection.
“I take 2020 to heart,” he told Vogue at the event. “When we were sitting at home watching the world being turned upside down, there were very clear guidelines as to what the fashion industry was hoping to evolve to. When it comes to representing that, we’re across the spectrum, and there’s always room to improve.”
M.I.A. also made an appearance at the show, performing a medley of her biggest hits including Paper Planes as she was supported by a group of Tamil dancers.
“She’s an artist that’s known for speaking her stance on global issues and I wanted to make a safe space for her to do her art and pair it together with what Off-White stands for. It’s about representing a young generation, it’s not about selling clothes,” Abloh commented to WWD.
Other highlights included Amber in a teal leather mini skirt suit, Alton Mason in an oversized felt wool jacket complete with custom print by Pablo Tomek, and Honey Dijon in a showstopping orange leather coat dress.
The men’s collection swapped the label’s usual penchant for twisted jeans for grown-up tailoring, and featured quilt coats with matching vests for added padding as well as hazmat-style hooded tops in shades of orange and yellow.
Abloh has been on a mission to steer Off-White away from its typically streetwear roots and explore the world of luxury fashion.
“Off-White is ageing. I was given the torch of youthful fashion, what’s happening in the next generation, and I think in the last year I’ve aged the fastest that I ever could have,” the 40-year-old continued. “The brand in my mind should never be stagnant.”
He also revealed he is “rebelling against the younger version of myself” by releasing the more “adult” collection.