At this point it seems almost too wrong to slot Off-White into the rapidly growing "streetwear-meets-luxury" brand profile. Sure, the simply catchy leathers, jeans, and tees from Virgil Abloh's label have earned major celebrity praise. Add in his recent LVMH award nomination, and Abloh has proven to the public that he's hustling to create—not just hit collections or pieces—a hit brand.
The mix between tongue-in-cheek references with conceptual reinterpretation—as seen in Off-White's Spring 2016 collection—shows that Abloh is well on his way to establishing his own aesthetic in the realm of luxury design.
The collection, titled "Blue Collar", draws not just from the working class, but a literal reworking of the blue collared uniforms of England's Royal Mail postmen.
It wasn't just that he sourced the old postman uniforms to simply re-present them in Paris (though, to be fair, there were a few pieces that seemed completely recycled in full). Instead, Abloh spliced the oxfords into wool topcoats, creating entirely new body panels or shirting arm bands.
But it wasn't just the shirting that was redone either; uniform-grade khakis were reconstructed into jackets, full on shirting, and...well high-waisted, pleated khakis.
Naturally, the designer did include T-shirts. The latest augmentation—not just graphics, but uneven hems—looked like, as Style.com puts it: "a sartorial glitch."
The most blue collar of fabrics (literally and metaphorically), denim, received it's due as well. The final four looks of Off-White's presentation were full-on Canadian tuxedos. Considering that Off-White's denim is one of it's most visible products, it seems like a combination of the brand's ability to simultaneously play to its strengths, while still remaining firmly "in theme."
As Abloh continues to move his label higher on the luxury ladder, it's conceptual collections like this that earn him even more fans: from high-fashion bastions to celebrity red carpets. Just expect Abloh to get there in his own time, and (more importantly) in his own way. We just can't help but feel like this is Abloh's blue collar grind—blooming into full-on success.
See more of the collection over at Style.com.