Virgil Abloh’s Off-White Women’s Show Has Royal Ambition
Virgil Abloh delivered a stunning show full of power suits with attitude that pay tribute to the late Princess Diana. “I think she’s a muse for the modern woman, young and old, 16 to 60,” explained Abloh backstage. “She’s the figure in the back of the head of a generation: A powerful, independent and kind woman, and I wanted to pay tribute to that. Off-White has always been about the modern woman, the empowered woman, the business woman, and I wanted the show to be influenced by her presence.”
The collection is a reimagining of what Diana would wear now, and a subtle interpretation of her style in the 80s and 90s. Many of her most iconic looks such as bicycle shorts worn with college sweatshirts, high-waisted mom jeans and skirt suits have clearly withstood the test of time. Abloh’s literal recreations refreshed these looks with a modern twist. There was the sexy LBD Diana wore for revenge on the day Prince Charles’ affair with Camilla Bowles was announced, interpreted in leather as a crop top with Bermuda shorts. And other nearly identical replications from her archives, specifically the black and white patterned blouse with puffy, sleeves. Kaia Gerber wore a similar style with a cropped khaki jacket, mom jeans and white boots, while Naomi Campbell sported a structured white asymmetrical peplum jacket over white cycling shorts.
As for accessories, there were black sunglasses hung from Off-White branded Croakies, small clutches made to look like magazines or wrapped gifts, and pearl necklaces. Jimmy Choo, Diana’s favorite footwear maker, collaborated with Abloh to recreate some of Princess Di’s footwear. A tongue in cheek Cinderella glass slipper was wrapped in plastic and kitten heel pumps came adorned with oversized bows that practically touched the floor.
Many of the models wore power suits with sneakers and crew socks, often carrying their heels in hand, in a nod to modern working women who should feel empowered to swap their heels for something more sensible. Princess Diana was considered the “People’s Princess,” and Virgil Abloh could also very well be described as the “People’s Designer.” He wants more young people to be able to purchase his work, so he makes sure to collaborate with more affordable brands, and is constantly listening to millennials. Overall, it was an brilliant tribute to Princess Di, but more importantly a shout out to modern women.