Shayne Oliver channeled a school theme for his genderless collection, inspired by studying in an underdeveloped region of Trinidad during his childhood. “It’s this idea of being really educated, but not having access to what you’re being educated about,” Oliver explained backstage before the show. “It’s about school uniforms. The way our clothes would be ripped; the way we would create makeshift clothing; the way we would portray logos and formality, because certain [brands] weren’t available to us…You’d have to make your own.”
The women’s looks did riff on some aspects of school uniforms, though in Oliver’s hands, were completely deconstructed. Crisp white shirting came sliced, cropped or with various cutouts, with several chic styles meant to hang loose off the models’ shoulders. Dresses were left unzipped to reveal open plackets and plenty of skin. Pleating was a recurrent theme, seen on side-slit leather and sheer chiffon skirts, and one austere, elegantly wrapped black dress.
Oliver’s androgynous men’s looks have become less surprising to the eye, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t push any boundaries. He referenced details he introduced during his Paris men’s wear show in June — soft, pleated fabrics, off-kilter construction and dramatic pieces with trains and exposed zippers — but this time he worked with a more neutral palette of mostly white, cream, beige and black, and added denim into the mix. Other new additions included white bondage straps with a Hood By Air logo and wrestling-inspired singlets.
As a designer that receives a lot of attention from the industry, which could translate to pressure, Oliver has done a nice job of maintaining his point of view while also adding fresh updates each season.