“There’s so much, so fast… is this even happening?” Virgil Abloh muttered to a friend backstage while fending off hordes of well-wishers. It’s bizarre to watch, but in these frenetic scenarios he is mesmerizing: wide-eyed, ever charming, and meticulous as to what he will divulge. As I waited my turn to speak to him, another journalist was interrogating him on the chaos outside of his show – someone must have been hurt, she said, she thought she might have a panic attack getting in – and he simply looked at her smiling, silently apologetic without admitting culpability. Abloh is certainly aware how to build hype, and he seems similarly aware as to how quickly it could be snatched away.
That being said, his success doesn’t show any signs of waning. This collection, inspired by his desire to “chronicle a girl between two worlds, who has both urban and suburban stylistic choices that she’s melding into one,” was well done: there were chic capes and printed scarves which paid clear tribute to horsey luxury, crisp white shirting and pooling tailored trousers alongside jogging bottoms, branded briefs and bra tops. That equestrian sensibility prevailed throughout, and cropped jackets and corseted hotpants were woven with pastoral tapestries that Abloh seemed particularly proud of: he had taken a traditional British print and re-designed the graphics so that the horseriders it depicted were dressed in Off-White, and that is great.