Wednesday 15th January

| BY Paul Toner

Off-White: Menswear AW20

The Off-White show kicked off with a rather gentle bang this morning. A tap dancer began the proceedings, wearing a t-shirt that read “I support young black businesses”, twisting and turning his way around a giant chandelier that swung low and centred in Carrousel du Louvre; a shopping mall buried in Paris’ underbelly. Like his former protégé, Samuel Ross of A-Cold-Wall, Virgil Abloh took AW20 as a prime opportunity to make a subtle departure from the street-centric menswear sensibilities that have shaped the brand’s oeuvre thus far. Brash logo-placement and the chorus of quotation marks that usually dominate an Off-White collection took a backseat, making way for a dazzling display of louche tailoring.

Blazers came slouched and slightly boxy, with chunks bitten from the girthy lapels. Others came shorter, nipped in at the waist – think The New Look, now equipped for the Instagram boys of today. The shirting proved fantastic: slim, crinkled, and in an interesting ruched finish, with strands of cotton trailing from the torso. They came in grey, buttercup yellow and a denim blue. These are the type of shirts you save in your wardrobe for only the most special of occasions. Abloh’s eye for colour was particularly strong this season – with a precession of chocolate brown leather proving mouthwateringly brilliant. Off-kilter, Off-White staples weren’t completely a miss. Fisherman jumpers came emblazoned in wet-floor signs and pillboxes, whilst one tie bore a blurred Mona-Lisa. The brand’s arrowed motif also made an appearance – matured into a cracking, cornflower blue, knitted vest.

AW20 appears to mark a new dawn for Off-White. With a collection that feels more in-tune with the new-guard menswear talent in London than the hypebeasts of LA – is Abloh attempting to steer Off-White to entice a new type customer? Ending the show with the chorus models meeting beneath the giant chandelier, high-fiving and chatting amongst one another – rest assured, Abloh is bringing his army of devotees along for the ride.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.

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