Shayne Oliver is a designer that thrives off of executing a concept. His entire Hood By Air brand surrounds the simple notion of urban dressing as a sort of cultural mouthpiece something that he quite literally and other times rather philosophically illustrates. So it is with this intellectual curiosity that Oliver presents his SS16 collection.
The designer takes us to school, literally as he explains the concept behind his latest collection to WWD, “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.”
If after Oliver’s explanation you were expecting your routine editorial take on tartan and catholic school girl skirts, you are far from the mark. Instead what we saw in his women’s looks were deconstructed shirts and unzipped skirts all hanging loosely, often sliced or with cut-outs here and there. To soften the purposefully undone collection the appearance of pleats appeared throughout in various fabrics adding a cunning sense of refinement to a perhaps otherwise completely conceptual ensemble.Â For the school boys in Oliver’s HBA University, we saw yet another lesson in androgyny. Models casually marched down the runway in skirts , crop tops, and body conscious silhouettes.
From this latest collection it’s apparent that Oliver is continuing to grow creatively as he pushes the boundaries between gender dressing and cultural appropriation. It will be exciting to see how his pieces continue to translate into more wearable designs.
Check out the gallery below to see some of our favorite looks from Hood By Air SS16 !