Paris is burrnning! Shayne Oliver’s second coming (after his New York show earlier this month) saw his Hood By Air army take over a derelict office building in Paris and fearlessly shake up the institutional French fashion system. Under red strip lights and to the sounds of a live DJ set by Future Brown'sFatima Al Qadiri and GHE20GOTH1K founder Venus X, Oliver explored the notion of the ‘Superego’ – finding its form in male figures of authority (in this case men in suits). If his New York show was about no frills elevated fashion, this was his more directly subversive counterpart, using sexuality to play with power dynamics.
A fetish for power dressing:
“It’s almost like a fetish for us,” Oliver cited backstage when asked about sexualising the mundane office environment of the show space. We’ve all had fantasies about late night office encounters, so perhaps this season’s show invitation (a black lace thong with the address printed across it) was some sort of prompt. Models were slung over black swivel chairs and each accompanied by three personal bodyguards (wearing HBA t-shirts, of course). It brought a new level to the medium of the fashion presentation by elevating the clothes almost to artworks in a gallery, with the spectators forbidden from coming too close. We took on the role of voyeurs, witnessing an intense and heightened fashion happening that we had to fight our way into.
“The New York show was about dissecting the man and treating him like a breed of some sort. Today was all about exaggerating him. It was about using sartorialism as a peacocking type of tool, about showing off all of the things men lure you in with. My favourite pieces were the suit-type garments. I wanted to approach the attitude of it in a different way. Instead of the suit being like, ‘I’m business’ it’s like ‘I’m sexy’ – that’s where we were coming from as a team.” – Shayne Oliver.