Yesterday, Hood By Air’s creative director Shayne Oliver captivated the audience with a provocative spectacle of a show that lasted north of 20 minutes. In stark contrast to the majority of runway shows in which models march down the runway solely to showcase the garments, Oliver’s created an element of performance, allowing the models to interact with what they were wearing. Here are a few noteworthy points on the show:
Atmosphere: Models emerged from thick fog and traipsed slowly, one at a time, allowing each look the full undivided attention of the audience. A succession of spotlights illuminated the runway overhead in time with the pulsating music yet the space remained practically pitch black (not optimal for picture taking) forcing us to put down our phones and view the show unmediated by our own screens. Instead, there were 4 televisions suspended from the ceiling in the center of the runway that broadcast details of each look.
Clothes: In line with Oliver’s previous collections, the clothes were decidedly street, stamped with the brand’s signature HBA emblem but underscored by a rugged glamour echoing the aesthetic of underground club kids. Among the standouts were thick soled thigh-high moon boots, a lot of suede, leather, and shearling pieces paired with zippers and screen-printed graphics.
Models: The models ran the gamut from tall to short to masculine to hyper-androgynous, blurring boundaries of gender and emphasizing the unisex nature of the brand. Though heavily styled — were clad in medallion head pieces with long strands of fake hair and sported the occasional painted face — there was a fluidity that had an element of DIY.
The Finale: The strobe light flickered in tandem with the music (which ranged from assaulting screams and dog barks to snippets of remixed Beyoncé) as a group of shirtless, wigged men defiantly marched out and began to break it down, voguing as if we were all part of a new-age iteration of a 1980’s drag ball à la Paris is Burning.
Now watch the video below and now tell us what you think.