• Text Jake Hall
  • 17th January 2020

Head in the clouds

A dreamscape runway staged in Paris’ beautiful Jardins de Tuileries, Virgil Abloh sent guests a rewound clock in lieu of an invite – a nod to the designer’s design ethos, which revolves around seeing the world through a child’s eyes. This translated into a complete deconstruction of standard office uniform. “Don’t let your day job define you”, warned the press release. The lines of tailored blazers were softened and curved, worn over scoop-neck vests teamed with long-sleeve office shorts. As models stepped out of a Truman Show-like door in the sky, they sported nails painted dusty pink and bright crimson; flashes of fuchsia came in the form of felt bucket hats, as well as bold, striped overlays wrapped over black leather shoes.

The element of deconstruction became more literal as the show went on: tailored overcoats looked to have been spliced into sections and patched back together; pinstriped shirts were collaged into brand new sleeves; one long, black coat clearly bore the remnants of a slashed-up shirt and tie left to hang from its lapel. A series of cloud-printed pieces closed off the collection, worn by models whose faces were covered with strategically-cut masks painted blue and white. Their acid-washed denims and printed overcoats seemed to melt into the cloudy backdrop, creating an impressive optical illusion.

After months of speculation following Abloh’s announcement of burnout last September, it seems clear that his creativity hasn’t waned. Backstage, he spoke of not being able to mimic fashion greats – and, more importantly, not wanting to. But as he continues to get more experimental, ethereal and technically-accomplished, it’s likely his name will be listed alongside them regardless.