Take a look through our backstage photography from OFF-WHITE’s SS18 show at Pitti Uomo above and find out everything that went down at the show below.
OFF-WHITE SS18 Invite
OFF-WHITE C/O Virgil Abloh TM staged its hotly anticipated runway show at Pitti Uomo in Florence last night titled “Temperature” and Virgil Abloh, the polymathic designer behind the brand certainly turned up the heat.
Attendees received physical invites which were branded OFF-WHITE T-shirts in a distinct shade of Day-Glo orange – the same color as emergency life vests and that was no accident. More on that later.
Last season’s OFF-WHITE extravaganza featured tunes from Migos, Miles Davis, and Aphex Twin, but for the brand’s big show at Pitti Uomo, it embraced its regal setting and tapped the Opera di Firenze to score its show with live music.
OFF-WHITE’s “Temperature” show took place inside the historic Piazza Pitti Palace, though it was entirely blacked out to hone focus on the collection, as well as the projections on its walls courtesy of American artist Jenny Holzer.
Given that OFF-WHITE’s utility belts are a key fixture among the global street style set’s uniform, there’s always an expectation for another statement accessory to inspire OFF-WHITE’s army of devotees.
Following an announcement that the brand is set to collaborate with IKEA, it’s no surprise that a deftly oversized tote bag is the punctuating accessory of a collection addressing the horrors of mass migration to Europe from deadly conflict zones. No doubt it will soon be on the arm of every street style star from London to Seoul.
OFF-WHITE also re-addressed one of streetwear’s most iconic pieces of footwear, the Timberland hiking boot, giving it some tactile felt treatment in loud colors and presented new interpretations of its iconic Off-Court hightops with orange tabs.
Abloh has become known for his persistent embrace of the contemporary, and his dizzying rise in fashion makes sense given his audience are young millennials of the post-internet age, who consume everything around them with an accelerated, break-neck velocity.
OFF-WHITE has gained mass appeal for its biting graphic references and self-reflexive exercises in branded irony, which all, unsurprisingly, resonates with today’s youth cornered by corporate cannibalism. However, at Pitti, there was a little less branded sensationalism and Abloh remixed OFF-WHITE’s conceptual streetwear codes with loaded tailored precision, no doubt in homage to Pitts’s legacy as the temple for sharp tailoring.
The Loaded Politics
Virgil Abloh announced on Twitter earlier this month that he would be collaborating with Jenny Holzer, the renowned neo-conceptual artist known for her text-based artistic interventions which have long brought attention to social injustices and the darkness of humanity.
Abloh tapped Holzer to curate the text-based projections but it wasn’t Holzer’s voice on show – it was the personal viewpoints of victims of war and conflict. The artist used poetry from Polish poet Anna Swirzczynska, which was written during the Warsaw uprising of 1944.
In addition, the voices of Omid Shams, Ghayath Almadhoun, Osama Aloma, and many others from current conflicts in Syria and Palestine were shown on the wall. A disturbing and dramatic backdrop that most showgoers probably didn’t expect when enjoying the frivolous excess of fashion month.
It’s hardly coincidental that Abloh, the son of a Ghanian immigrant, wanted to address the refugee crisis in Italy of all places. It’s the country in which OFF-WHITE manufactures its garments as well as where this show is staged but the country is most notably a port of call for those fleeing conflict by boat, and now that particular shade of Day-Glo orange hue dotting the entire collection begins to make a whole lot of sense.
For more SS18 fashion coverage, here’s what went down at JW Anderson’s menswear show at Pitti Uomo.
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- Photography: Eva Al Desnudo / Highsnobiety.com