Off-White™ launched a new digital event today called Imaginary TV. It's essentially a fashion version of Rick & Morty's inter-dimensional cable with channels screening dance performances, jazz, rock climbing, Instagram filters, live DJ sets, ballet, Tai Chi from world champion Liang Bi Ying, and a look at the brand's forthcoming Spring/Summer 2021 collection, among other things.
In addition to being a sign of the digitally-native times we live in, the custom interface is a push for greater inclusivity in the fashion industry. The forthcoming SS21 collections (once the privy of industry insiders) are available for everyone to watch, and indeed, BTS footage and the surrounding content attempts to forge a more transparent relationship with the customer to bring them further into the Off-White™ universe.
In a voiceover on a separate channel, Abloh explains this collection was the first time that Off-White™'s menswear and womenswear design studios merged together. This combination reflects a shifting blur of the sexes in fashion, and perhaps, society at large, "within the collection itself, I wanted to capture what it is to be human at this very moment. Conundrum is OK, glitches are OK, duality is OK, and a dissolution of norms is OK,” says Abloh.
Considering there were similar vibes of gender non-conformity at Louis Vuitton as explained to us by Kai-Isaiah Jamal, perhaps so-called gender-neutral dressing is beginning to penetrate the mainstream.
Garments from both lines were shown on men and women including navy cotton dresses under suits, cami tops over shirts and ties, and leather skirts with matching blazers. If offices (and therefore office-wear) are a thing of the past, and streetwear is on its deathbed (as Abloh hypothesized), the future of fashion is looking to be extremely fluid, and deliberately difficult to categorize, and as evidenced by this show's styling, inspired by the haphazard flourish of vintage pieces.
Abloh also points out the historical poignancy of 2020, as seen in the garments doubling up as face coverings, and the soothing soundtrack which sounds lifted from a Youtube lockdown playlist.
Elsewhere, the circular perforations that were seen in the SS19 collections have shown up again, this time, even more prominently across ready-to-wear, shoes, and accessories. Abloh says these holes, increasingly a part of the OFF-WHITE™ aesthetic canon are to convey the idea of literally seeing though the garments, "and to the human behind."
The label's signature quotation marks were noticeably absent, which tracks with a general reduction in air quotes throughout recent collections. As Off-White™ evolves, in turn so does the design language which it uses to communicate, and in this case, the negative space created by the holes is a way to signify OFF-WHITE™ without literally "SPELLING IT OUT."
OFF-WHITE™ SS21 will be available during three separate drops from February through till May.