If hungry humans ever colonize another planet, will Uber Eats and Deliveroo still be able to get to your door within an hour?
The question occurs to you after previewing Off-White’s fall collection with Ib Kamara, who spoke of delivery uniforms, his childhood memories of Sierra Leone — and what life on the moon might be. His nimble brain spins out far-flung, seemingly estranged references — and then it dawns on you as he talks how the padded foil interior of a food-delivery bag is not so far from what you imagine on the inside of a spacesuit.
For his second runway show as art and image director of the brand that Virgil Abloh built, Kamara spun a unique narrative that also embraced Abloh’s circular cutouts, or “meteor holes” — here expressed by the giant silver orb plunked in the middle of a vast set of red earth and stones, and by grommets galore on the clothes.
The collection was a big improvement over his debut, falling something between a futuristic Alaïa and a luxury streetwear version of “District 9.”
The show was impressive and bursting with ideas, perhaps a few too many, and there were arresting scenes: Naomi Campbell in a jersey gown suspended from a beaded rubber tire around her neck, and male models strolling out wearing bright puffer jackets and sunglasses with four lenses.
Kamara’s memories of how rust and moss mingle on the corrugated zinc sheeting of homes in Sierra Leone were recreated faithfully as a mottled print on outerwear, while other “components” were the mere starting point. For example, car or bicycle wheels became circular motifs on custom-made lace; zippers from delivery bags the piping on finely cut blazers, while the orange tail lights from motorcycles became the toe caps of square-heel boots.
“Off-White is a very innovative brand in its thinking,” Kamara said. “We’re experimenting, we’re still developing our own codes.”
With this accomplished collection, the brand seems ready for another liftoff.