Inside a vast blue-carpeted space bathed in blue light, Ibrahim Kamara made his first outing as art and image director of Off-White.
In keeping with the collective approach of the brand’s founder, Virgil Abloh, who passed away in November 2021, Kamara, who was once a stylist on the late designer’s Off-White shows, imagined an immersive performance featuring Afro-punk band Tshegue, Cape Verdean dancer and choreographer Nicolas Huchard, and London-based filmmaker Stephen Isaac Wilson.
Titled “Celebration“, the Spring/Summer 2023 collection celebrated the pan-African spirit and Virgil Abloh’s love for it. “It’s funny, we’re both West Africans and share similar cultural references”, said Sierra Leone-born Ib Kamara in an interview included in the show notes.
With X-ray patterns of the human skeleton printed or embroidered on jackets and even ensembles, his collection was inspired by the human body and featured anatomical details – the body mapping was a nod to Virgil Abloh’s oft-repeated idea. There were also geometric patterns reminiscent of traditional African art, floral motifs that were probably a nod to Off-White’s collaborative project with American conceptual artist Jenny Holzer on a series of t-shirts with the inscription “The abuse of flower comes as no surprise”, and meteor holes that have become an Off-White signature by placing midriff portholes on many pieces.