A custom-made pair of crutches, a speckled Great Dane dog and a Perspex take on a stockade were just a few of the off-the-wall accessories designer Shayne Oliver -- the mastermind behind the brand Hood By Air -- sent down the runway in his spring/summer 2014 collection.
The show was a clear fashion happening and the place to be -- and be seen -- on Sunday morning. In addition, the serendipitous show slot for HBA on the calendar -- right after the equally white hot/urban cool collection from Public School -- made it feel as if the fashion scene in New York is beginning to swell up again with a new generation of talented and risk-taking designers.
Challenging the fashion status quo is clearly what Oliver is doing with his collections. This latest bombastic addition he went as far as to call “Part One: EGO”. And it’s true that to wear much of the pieces in this show a person is going to need a large helping of ego and super ego to pull them off.
But that is not to say they were offsetting. Much in this collection had real world viability. The suiting that opened the show -- even those outfitted with what looked to be bedspring closures -- really worked. And all of Oliver’s artistically embellished denim jeans (zipped, ripped, worn, painted) are probably already sold out. They will surely be quickly followed by his black leather bomber jackets embossed with the HBA logo and the utilitarian strap wrapped trousers.
It’s no wonder that the jury for the LVMH design award decided to add an extra “special prize” just so that it could honor the work Oliver is producing. They, and the rest of the fashion world, can no longer deny his dynamic urban vision.