Hood By Air’s Shayne Oliver called his departure from Italy — where he’s been working for the past year — a pilgrimage. He slapped the loaded word across his Fall collection today, most notably on nylon and vinyl jackets next to a flipped North Face logo. So taken was Oliver with the idea of returning home that he styled many looks with luggage tags and that red cellophane you see wrapped around baggage at the airport, and he put boarding passes on seats.
Homesick or not, Oliver is a provocateur through and through. And so today, Valentine’s Day, he put his particular brand of gender fluidity on full, unapologetic display: men in thigh-high heels, over-the-top furs, rubber and/or latex shirting, padded jackets with exposed midriff, and extra long sleeves that dragged along the runway. The Russian-American dissident photographer Slava Mogutin modeled one statement piece, a padded blanket hoodie. As always, however, Oliver’s subversion was done in an artful manner that read fierce performance art rather than float dancing at a gay parade.