Off-White designer Virgil Abloh‘s mood board for his spring 2017 presentation was said to be inspired by Princess Diane and indeed you could see the dearly-departed royal’s mark throughout the collection, which was closed by curly-haired Naomi Campbell.
While Diana may have been best known for the more formal frocks she wore to functions and red carpet events, Abloh also touched on her more casual looks like cycling shorts and leather pants that have received less attention in looks back at her wardrobe. There were also pop cultural references to the period in the form of a Life and People magazine clutch, no doubt a reference to the intense level of media coverage leading to her death by paparazzi.
And though Diana served as a foundation, the collection was very much formed through a 2017 lens and Abloh’s signature touches were felt throughout. At the same time, one can feel the 36-year old slowly but surely veering away from street-rooted looks to ones that take a more artfully feminine approach, an evolution played out in real time by models who wore sneakers but carried a pair of heels. (That said, Abloh took his bow with Campbell by his side wearing a very streety Bianca Chandôn 917 Grace Jones t-shirt.)
The collection also included a collaboration with Jimmy Choo (also worn by Diana), which was fun, fresh and quirky. And while the plastic-covered heels (perhaps referencing Diana’s life frozen in time?) may receive the most love from editors, it’s the floral and quilted white boots that popped out.
Mr. Abloh most definitely is approaching that do-no-wrong phase of his career and it is a very fun thing to watch unfold.