On Thursday night in Paris, Virgil Abloh presented his thoughtful, beautifully executed spring 2017 Off-White collection, based on his idea of the modern "business woman" (the invitation was a business card in a transparent envelope). In Abloh's sphere, "work" takes on a slightly different connotation: He rolls with musicians, artists, creative directors, designers and more, so he cleverly gave traditionally office-appropriate elements — crisp white and pinstriped shirting, sharp blazers, long skirts and overcoats — the conceptual, streetwise treatment he's become known for, by mixing them with slouchy denim, track pants, sweatshirts, glitter booties and much more. In sum, it was a delight.
Considering Off-White had the 9:00 p.m. slot in Paris — when editors, buyers, stylists and the like had been show-hopping for 12 hours — energy was high, especially during the finale walk, when "Solo," a fantastic track from Frank Ocean's recently released album "Blonde," played over the speakers. A number of guests started singing along (an almost reflex-like reaction) just before Abloh slid joyfully down a bannister in lieu of taking a bow. But do you know who somehow snuck into the front row without anyone taking notice, including a handful of the publicists working the show? That's right. Frank Ocean. I was sitting 20 feet away from Frank Ocean for at least 12 minutes and I had no idea. My fashion month is officially ruined.
While cameras captured Kim Kardashian and (a very sad-looking) Kanye West taking their seats on the sky-blue foam benches, the ever-mysterious Ocean seemed to appear out of thin air, his presence only confirmed later after some red wine and serious Instagram stalking. See below for proof:
Unlike former Fashionista editor Leah Chernikoff, who bravely approached Ocean in the front row at Valentino back in 2013, I'm unsure that I would have been able to actually formulate sentences if I got close enough talk to him. What we're wondering now is: With his recent Calvin Klein duties and all, will the elusive artist be back on the fashion circuit for good soon? In the past, he's been selective about his fashion-world alignments, having only attended a handful of shows including Dior (during the Raf Simons era), Chanel, Yeezy Season 3 and, in 2013, Givenchy — he also appeared pretty friendly with creative director Riccardo Tisci at that year's Met Gala.
How about we all agree to listen to "Solo" on repeat for a couple of hours today to help will further front row appearances into existence?
And Frank, if you're still in Paris, let's hang.