Gigi Hadid left a lasting impression as she closed Virgil Abloh’s Off-White show wearing a knife pleated puff of a white ball gown. It wasn’t your regular ball gown, mind you. This was a strictly hybrid affair, the dress spliced asymmetrically with a hooded hiking jacket in the same hazmat-suit blue we saw at the Rick Owens show earlier today. The look bookended the show nicely since sister Bella Hadid had opened the runway in a similarly hybrid black variant. Both turned out to be collaborations with high-end outdoor clothing label Arc’teryx.
The collection was aptly titled Slightly Off.
But the Arc’teryx collaboration wasn’t the only one on the runway. Abloh also debuted the next installment of the Nike Air Jordan collab he debuted in January for men’s. The Off-White x Air Jordan 4 worn by several of the cast comes in a “Sail” colorway and features both brands’ signature hang tags; the iteration blends nubuck uppers with transparent rubber caging and Off-White’s Helvetica font across the laces and midsole.
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Apropos of those voluminous dresses: The last-minute venue change Virgil Abloh announced in an Instagram post yesterday announcing that he “had to switch venues ’cause a bunch of dresses couldn’t fit thru the doorway of the first venue” suddenly made sense.
Abloh doesn’t usually do things in half measures, but hybridization proved the name of the game tonight in Paris. Another “demi” couture dress came teamed with camouflage-printed combat pants, and there was also a great coat in violet, horizontally split with a tailored top half and a quilted bottom, while a chic little cocktail number in the same shade was styled with kick flare pants in tangerine.
Likewise, the show space in the city’s AccorHotels Arena featured cars that had literally been sawn in half.
Splicing garments is not a new concept: Sacai’s Chitose Abe, due to present her collection on Monday, has been creating hybridized clothing since she launched her label some 20 years ago, but Abloh’s new take is an interesting twist. Don’t forget the mix master is a part-time DJ.
The idea had its genesis in January during his fall ’20 menswear collection presentation, where he sent out mismatched shoes, pairing regular black lace-ups with white kicks.
Could this new hybrid focus prophesy the end of streetwear as we know it? Or the beginning of streetwear 2.0. Only time will tell.
With contributions by Claudia Miller.