Style superstar Virgil Abloh produced one of the big moments at Paris men’s fashion week Wednesday when he had Gigi Hadid walk through a field of white carnations at his Off White show.
The black American creator — one of the hottest talents in fashion right now, who also heads Louis Vuitton’s menswear line — brought a host of stars to his front row.
Columbian singer Maluma rubbed shoulders with Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton and Chinese K pop star Li Wen Han to see Hadid close the show wearing an oversized white tuxedo adorned with abstract expressionist designs by the legendary New York graffiti artist Futura.
Abloh, the first African American to head a major French label, used the veteran artist’s work to great effect throughout his brightly-coloured spring summer collection.
Field of carnations
US rapper Sheck Wes opened the show in another Futura-decorated white ensemble, with one of the artist’s sculptures called “Nosferatu” looming out of the field of white blossoms Abloh had transplanted inside a converted market in central Paris.
His army of models trampled the carnations — which are a symbol of innocence — at the end of the show.
Abloh seemed to question what humans were doing to the planet, opening the show to the sound of the steam trains that heralded the Industrial Revolution and ending it with the haunting Beatles song, “Blackbird”.
The song is said to have been inspired both by nature and the US civil rights movement.
Several of the garments in the show Abloh called “Plastic” had recycling symbols alongside his own four-pointed square logo.