CHELSEA — A Sunday afternoon showing of Hood by Air, a menswear line designed by Shayne Oliver, tranformed Chelsea's Milk Studios into a hip, up-to-date version of the legendary after-hours clubs New York used to be known for.
"Boychild" featured strobe lights, lasers, a fog machine, fiber optics and a driving forceful musical sound. The runway show included a cameo appearance by hip-hop artist A$AP Rocky, drag princess performance artist and the show's inspiration "Boychild," and the show was packed with beautifully dressed patrons and skillfully crafted and imaginatively styled clothing.
The collection featured a number of graphic logo t-shirts, the backbone of the brand, but what fell between was very noteworthy.
Street Chic was impressed with the functional and transformative nature of many of the clothes — removable sleeves, shorts with vertical zippers along the leg, jackets transforming into cagoule shapes as well as knee length coats transforming into tailored biker jackets.
An eye-catching look was long pants morphing into shorts and knee length legwarmers. We also liked the long sleeve shirts tied around the waist as a flyaway back detail, or tied in the front for a skirted look leaving the back open for a long panel of coat to cover.
The colors of the collection were very flexible — black-metal, pearl white, steel gray, bronze and accent colors of yellow and green. The textiles of leather, neoprene, nylon and rubberized cotton all melded together to produce silhouettes showcasing very sharp tailored featuring, utility details such as zipper teeth, D-rings, pull cords and gusset pockets. Street Chic took note of a strong showing of the urban staple — nylon knee length basketball shorts with an elastic waist or drawstring.
For Street Chic, the strongest fashion moments were the collection's wonderful array of transformative pearl white leather jackets and multi panel puffer jackets with center back zipper details. The focus on the back of the silhouette was well thought out. These looks, viewed from all angles, have an element to focus on - a HBA tag, a utility detail or bare body part. The very notable styling of the clothes, including gold and diamond Ankh jewelry, pearls mixed with headphone technology and the beautiful cotton jersey turbans, were the work of renowned stylist Akeem Smith, an integral partner in the HBA brand.
Street Chic did take note of the atmospheric weather map and navigation inspired t- shirt graphics.