Virgil Abloh's still finding his feet as a fashion designer, and he's got some fierce competition on the Paris circuit. His collections might not be as slick and refined as, say, Dries Van Noten's, but Abloh's ability to bridge the divide between streetwear, high fashion and contemporary pop culture is unparalleled. No other show on the Paris circuit manages to draw the same mix of Vogue editors, rappers and Instagram personalities as OFF-WHITE: a sign of Abloh's clout as a tastemaker and cultural ambassador for streetwear.
For FW17, Virgil rented out part of UNESCO's headquarters, filled it with leaves, and had his camera crew decked out in matching camo outfits to complete the look. An opening salvo of on-trend shaggy fleece was followed by some double denim and a smattering of womenswear. In terms of graphics, Virgil was strong - he always is - although the collection as a whole veered between themes without much in the way of consistency.
That being said, the show included some of Virgil's best ideas. OFF-WHITE's mile-long belts have all the hallmarks of a "must-have" accessory, and the various checkerboard-patterned pieces on show looked like they'd have many streetwear fiends reaching for their wallets; likewise for the faux-fur pieces and extra-baggy JNCO-style jeans.
OFF-WHITE's high-meets-low attitude is exactly what people want from a brand these days, and Virgil's got great taste and his finger on the pulse of modern-day subculture, which is basically what being a designer is all about anyway. His brand might still be a work in progress, but he's getting better and better each season: there were some great pieces on show today, even if his vision as a whole was a little hazy.
For more coverage of FW17 Fashion Week be sure to read our other reports on today’s hottest brands.