This season’s Hood by Air show was an unapologetic exercise in extremes: extremely bright lights, extremely loud music, and an extremely unexpected performance. This general extremeness undercut a collection that would have felt haphazard, if not for the general impression that well, that was the point, and if you didn’t like it, or worse didn’t get it (older audience members covered their ears when, set to a tremulous bass, the phrase “Ten thousand screaming faggots” was blared over and over at a decibel level of an airplane propeller), then you were the one missing out. Worn by tough, tattooed models who often came up short at height of five feet or less (“real people” trend?), each look screamed an identity as individual as the wearer, while still bearing familiar marking of some otherworldy “thugness,” like the looks as a whole formed a rough-and-tumble gang, not merely a collection of clothes. In the end, when five models halted the final runway walk for a head-thrashing vogueing spectacle, they proved themselves one gang we’d really love to know.
Inspired by chef Ferran Andrià from Spanish restaurant El Bulli, fashion designer Lela Rose whets our palette with delicious feathers and crystals in her new collection. She brought us through the “courses” of her show by starting with geometric wool jackets and separates in loose fits. Rose added dashes of blue and peach stripes to the line and worked her way up to the experimental main course of latticework pencil skirts and dresses of swirly fingerprint designs. For dessert, she created whimsical dresses with soft feathers leaving viewers with a sweet taste in their eyes.
Parkchoonmoo designer Demi Park went back to her roots to study the possibilities of design, form, and practicality. She showcased structural coats with breathtakingly wide shoulders and garments that seemed to be have constructed in a cubistic fashion. Organic cotton shirts and lamb leather jackets are loose and comfy, zippers create the possibility of removing coat sleeves or highlighting a slit in a skirt. Park layers different elements together, but as they appear to be directly cut from muslin, Park returned to the basics of design and chic minimalism. The cube is Park’s building block, the source of where everything begins.
Vivienne Tam took a nod to the 70s in her fresh, bohemian collection. We entered Tam’s adventure where garments featured mandalas, the spiritual symbol representing the universe. A lavish, emerald dress opened the show, which was promptly followed by a leather trench coat topped off with a blue and orange fur scarf. Tam utilised earthy tones and featured a variety of lacework in the form of breezy dresses and skirts. Prints were psychedelic and speckled tights further enhanced the vibrant experience.
Scott Sternberg’s 10-year old Band of Outsiders is still sticking to its original standards of tailoring. This season’s collection was charming and rambunctious, with models seen in mischievous checks and polka dots. Sternberg even experimented with a green ombre effect that paired nicely with the otherwise downplayed colour palette. Overall, the collection seemed infinitely marketable with many versatile pieces that the cool kids of Tokyo (Band of Outsider’s largest market) and New York alike are sure to adore.
Words/ Seymour Glass