On a Tour Montparnasse floor recently gutted to rid it of asbestos, overlooking the twinkling lights of the city, Hood by Air gave the Paris crowd its first dip into the radical aesthetic of Shayne Olivier, who rocked New York City with his "Part One: Ego” show just a fortnight ago. Titled “Superego,” this second part was, if you ascribe to the Freudian structural model, the reinterpretation of cultural rules, structures and taboos put in place by our forbearers. Only this reinterpretation must have been done by the raw and instinctual Id because all the rules have been turned on their heads. But enough with the analytical mumbo jumbo; there certainly wasn’t any space for navel-gazing as guests moved through barren spaces to a throbbing soundtrack.
What Olivier brought to light here, reclaiming these once-swank office spaces for his own purposes, is that the culture of reappropriation pervades not only places but also meanings. Boundaries that were once thought to be airtight are being questioned. While fashion is not a perfect medium, it is a readily accessible one. In these 18 looks that guests were left to discover, room after room, was the HBA aesthetic of ambiguity in the eye of the beholder. In a nutshell, the answers are for them to know, and you, well, find out on your own.
But back to the clothes. Pêle-mêle, the hits were still the tailored jackets with bedspring closures, the strap trousers, and the leatherwork in general. But for Paris, Olivier seems to have sharpened his game to bring only the most radical and directional elements to play. The buyable appeal of his thrashed denims was replaced by millimetrically precise tailoring of a double-breasted blazer, or inseam-opened shorts with knife-pleats, or shirting. More sophisticated and slicker than ever, this Parisian summer of HBA showed that Olivier's work travels, translates, transcends boundaries and borders alike.