Shayne Oliver’s fall Hood by Air collection was meant to symbolize his “pilgrimage” back to New York City after a year and a half spent producing collections in Milan. Faux boarding passes marked each guest’s seat, and his lineup riffed on themes of travel, luggage and utility. “I came back and I’m sort of taking back my ground; that’s where this feeling of ferociousness came from,” Oliver said backstage. “I felt like it had to be harsh. It’s about this clash of taking what I’ve learned, and then forgetting about all of that as well.”
That juxtaposition of old and new ideas came through in Oliver’s energetic runway choreography. His early shows featured cameos by the artist Boychild; this season he brought back a performance aspect with dancing by the gender-bending artist Hirakish, while the rest of his runway cast twirled, ran — mostly stomped — their way up and down the venue’s bleacher-style seating, with several near-collisions.
For women, Oliver’s signature deconstructed silhouettes fused traditional formalwear with a street vibe. Cotton shirts were given extra-long sleeves and styled more like sashes. Utilitarian straps, hardware and luggage tags dangled haphazardly off the looks, which came in fabrics ranging from black leather and shearling to red patent leather. A decadent flair ran through the lush fox fur looks that opened the show, which Oliver admitted he has a complex relationship with. “I’m into it and not into it,” he said. One of his furs was wrapped in transparent “plastic wrap,” similar to the kind used at airports to secure luggage. “I’m playing with the idea of luxury, treating [fur] like it’s not luxurious.”
Deconstruction and reconstruction continued as the core of the men’s looks as well. Case in point: duffel bags were stitched at the sleeves of a nylon parka and two-hooded sweatshirts came with a built-in PVC cape. As usual, the over-the-top outfits destroyed the boundaries between genders, as in an oversize hooded sweatshirt paired with a zippered miniskirt or chubby fur coats worn with heels. All of it was infused with an underground feel, nodding to Nineties London subcultures; it was especially evident in a range of vinyl pieces and in long leather coats with zippers running down the sleeves. Compared to the brand’s previous efforts, the collection was mostly free of logos, affirming Oliver’s status as a rebellious outsider.