It was a show of Abloh proportions. The designer may be gone now but his legacy will forever be imprinted in fashion history.
“Spaceship Earth: An Imaginary Experience” was Off-White’s tribute show for Virgil Abloh on Monday at Paris Fashion Week Fall-Winter 2022, featuring his last creations—“designed by Virgil and completed by the creative teams and collaborators with whom he worked with,” said the statement.
The Off-White creative director, 41, died in November.
The energy in Paris was high and immediately spoke of a celebration. This wasn’t a way to say goodbye, this was a way to implement what Abloh taught us.
The massive collection featured 84 looks, divided into three parts. Pharrell Williams’ words from a 2020 interview kicked off the show. “Share the codes . . . share the cheat codes. A lot of us had to figure it out ourselves . . . that’s where we go wrong. The more of us that learn the codes, the stronger we are,” the rapper’s voice echoed.
Immediately, heavy wool coats and black sweater dresses with neon touches followed. It was a strong statement and showcased Abloh’s reverence for tailoring and details.
A flag that said “Question Everything” heralded the second part of the presentation. Here, I saw pieces that Abloh put his signature on. These included bright neon slip dresses, cycling shorts, jackets and tie-dye sets.
The third act served as a grand reveal—Off-White couture. This was an overload with Bella Hadid, Abloh’s favorite muse, opening in a big white ball gown.
Each of these high couture looks had a story. There was The Carrie B., a nod to Abloh’s friendship with Sarah Jessica Parker, and an unworn 2020 Met Gala look for Kendall Jenner.
Everyone who was someone in Abloh’s universe was on the runway. Mother-daughter supermodels Cindy Crawford and Kaia Gerber, tennis star Serena Williams, legends Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen, Amber Valletta and Karen Elson also showed up.
Instagram favorite Karlie Kloss, Gigi Hadid and Joan Smalls were present. It was high energy all the way through, messaging only Abloh love for whatever comes next.
Also in attendance were Abloh’s fellow creatives: Idris and Sabrina Elba, Pharrell Williams, along with Jonathan Anderson, Olivier Rousteing, Matthew Williams, Guram Gvasalia and Jerry Lorenzo.
Carla Bruni, France’s former first lady, was also there.
The show came to a fever- pitch close and I knew there was going to be a frenzy so I stood up immediately, only to see a group of photographers swarm Rihanna. In attendance with beau Asap Rocky, she was graceful and kind despite the craziness around.
I couldn’t help but think that the show from start to finish, and with the aftermath that followed, proved that we exist in a fashion world that Virgil Abloh created from his imagination. INQ