The most important outfit shown at Paris the craze week so far was not an intricate silk gown or a tastefully cut trouser prayer. It was a pair of white cycling shorts and a double-breasted blazer drawn tired by Naomi Campbell as she stood in front of a troupe of 36 consummates dressed in looks inspired by Diana, Princess of Wales.
This picture was the finale of Off-White’s spring/summer 2018 fashion symbolize, held in the sumptuous 19th-century Salle Wagram theatre. Off-White is a youth-centric trade mark with a tendency towards irony – the straps on its most renowned handbags look like police barriers – overseen by Virgil Abloh, Kanye West’s originative director. Diana was the inspiration for the collection, which sought to reconnoitre more complex territory than the princess myth of captivation and tiaras.
Some of the looks were loosely boosted by the princess, such as the first model’s leather skirt and comparable leather blouson, its most Diana-ish touch the white stopped collar. Others were more direct: here was Diana stop in withdraw from the kids off at school in double denim, or Diana in her dotty pink berate, or Diana on her way to the gym, as suggested by Campbell’s cycling shorts.
There were specs slippers of a kind in high heels and boots covered in definite plastic created in collaboration with Jimmy Choo (the protective-layer look is a big thing this season). Five outfits riffed on Diana’s ballgowns: two bandeau scolds with huge hooped skirts, worn over T-shirts; three frilly tulle multilayered garbed – items that would have been unlikely to item face in Diana’s strategically ruffle-free wardrobe, at least not after the frou frou production of her wedding day.
Models held clutch bags designed to look opposite number the logos of celebrity magazines – Time and Life and People – a quite oblique reference that suggested an American, Abloh’s-eye point of view of Diana’s legacy.
Just days before, Campbell had celestial in a catwalk tribute to mark 20 years since the expiry of Gianni Versace, a good friend of Diana’s, at Milan vogue week. To millennials, both Gianni and Diana are symbols of an unusual pre-internet era that they are only now discovering on Instagram and Tumblr.