For Fall/Winter '09 New York fashion week, FADER style assistant Erin Hansen will chronicle everything in a uniform of flannel. Will anyone really give a damn if she wears flannel for a week straight? Who knows? Stay tuned for the fascinating fashionista reactions.
Towards the end of the hour leading up to a delayed Hood By Air F/W 09 presentation a man walked in and was promptly seated at the only vacated chair in the house, a chair that happened to be directly to my left. At first, I couldn't place him, this man with dirty bleached hair and a blindingly handsome MCM coat. After a few side glances I leaned over to my Executive Editor and said, "this dude looks like Taz." As the patron saint of Kanye West's clashing fashion entourage, he seemed to be downplaying his usual shenanigans by sensibly sporting only one hat and one belt. What a concept, right? This was no accident as the Hood By Air show brought out the best in downtown fashion — a crowd perfectly coiffed and patiently anticipating the new looks designed by a still very young and intensely inspired Shayne Oliver.
As the music by DJ Kingdom thudded through Santos Party House, the first model strode across the stage in a cotton an outfit of black and gold lamé and a pair of customized Dr. Martens and soon many others followed suit, adventurously taking more structured shapes and androgynous forms. The strength in Oliver's designs this season is in his connection between the more classic Hood By Air pieces — the shiny logo's and black suits — and his riskier new outerwear and skirted pieces. Talking to Oliver later, he told me that the presentation's delay was due to two missing looks that never arrived, but by the looks of it the collection never seemed to miss a beat, marrying Thunderdome hair with Chris Habana's silver blocked "HOOD" hats. It's in their efforts that Shayne Oliver and business partner Raul Lopez's adventurous collection had me thinking that despite all the dark silouettes this week, dark style can still be inspired, clever and... fresh even. On the following morning I woke up and dressed in my darkest outfit this week and I didn't feel even a bit morbid, I actually felt quite unique.