Browse all

Off-White SS19 Backstage: Rebel Without a Cause

Virgil Abloh channels his nonconformist spirit to evoke Bart Simpson, James Dean and Dondi White

Off-White SS19 Backstage: Rebel Without a Cause
Virgil Abloh channels his nonconformist spirit to evoke Bart Simpson, James Dean and Dondi White
Off-White SS19 Backstage: Rebel Without a Cause  Virgil Abloh channels his nonconformist spirit to evoke Bart Simpson, James Dean and Dondi White

Trocadéro, Théâtre National de Chaillot.

A catwalk transformed into a green lawn welcomes the rebellious youth of Off-White, while, in the background, the notes of

Smashing Pumpkins and Kraftwerk, broken by White Christmas by Bing Crosby.

A few hours after his debut as creative director of Louis Vuitton, Virgil Abloh is free to channel his unconventional spirit into the SS19 collection of the brand he founded in 2013.

29 looks to deconstruct the style clichés of the classic American rebel, embodied in three iconic figures: Bart Simpson, James Dean, and Dondi White.

The most irreverent TV kid, the accursed actor, and the street art pioneer carry an engaging celebration of the teenage spirit, including skater quotes, denim reworkings and new collaborations with Rimowa, Nike, and Dr. Martens.

Jim Stark, the title of the collection and the name of the protagonist played by James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, with his uniform of white T-shirts, work jeans and red jacket, Harrington is the stylistic archetype that the designer enjoys to repropose, distort and rework. Abloh takes the main ingredients of the actor's outfit, tee and jeans, shapes them and enriches them according to taste: denim becomes oversize, bleached, twisted, with the seams of the trousers spiraling around the legs.

Bart Simpson and his characters skateboard sprout out, surrounded by flames, on long-sleeved sweaters and t-shirts, as well as the Simpsons family home of 742 Evergreen Terrace in Springfield.

Necklaces from large metal rings, multi-pocketed waistcoats, sweatshirts, cargo pants and deconstructed parkas, often made unique by white paint vortexes, sketches and scribbled tags evokes street art by the pioneering New York writer Dondi White.

Free of the burden of having to prove how much it is worth, Abloh is perfectly synchronized with the context in which it operates, "a fashion industry that has rebelled against itself for some time, amalgamating luxury codes and streetwear".