As has become something of a Fashion Week tradition at this point, Hood by Air got us out of bed early on Sunday morning to catch its Fall 2015 presentation at the not-so-hangover-friendly hour of noon. Whereas last September's "Ego" felt kind of like going to church, this weekend's "Daddy" convened the brand's friends and admirers inside the dingy-looking basement of a seeming cathedral of finance—23 Wall Street, a historically landmarked, formerly J.P. Morgan-owned office building across the street from the New York Stock Exchange. Its limestone façade featured in 2012's The Dark Knight Rises as the exterior of the Gotham City Stock Exchange, and the subterranean setting of "Daddy," with its industrial beams and gnarly cinderblock walls, felt like exactly the sort of place where you'd expect a masked vigilante to be lurking. A snippet of dialogue from the Fox series Empire, sampled by Gen F alumn Total Freedom in the midst of a beat-heavy pre-show soundtrack, drove home the feeling that we were about to witness a veritable Wall Street-take-over: "I want to show you a faggot can run this company."
The scenario seemed especially fitting for a brand that in the past few years—and especially since last year's post-apocalpytic "Ego"—has evolved from a grassroots appendage of an experimental club music night to one of the most talked-about labels in fashion. And while there were plenty of recognizable HBA signatures in the new collection—logo tees, puffer jackets, strappy parachute pants—much of "Daddy" seemed to riff on the symbolism of the space, drawing on the brand's Pitti Uomo-tested penchant for fine tailoring to deliver a nightmarish fusion of avant-garde street wear and old school corporate Americana, from refashioned trench coats and suiting to noir-heroine off-the-shoulder silhouettes and cartoonishly voluminous furs, all set to a soundtrack of old time-y jazz.
Think Who Framed Roger Rabbit meets your typical night out at GHE20G0TH1K, only with the odd particularity that all of the models were wearing panty-hose Slender Man masks, with exaggerated, penciled-on eyebrows and cheek bones underneath, so that their faces all looked pretty much the same. Whether this was some vague commentary on the mutable nature of identity (read a pre-show interview with lead hairstylist Amy Farid here) or a metaphor about "highway robbery" in the finance world is your guess as well as mine. Mostly, though, these elaborate but sporty outfits seemed like clothes for a new generation of hustlers and entrepreneurs, working their way up from deep inside the belly of the beast.
All photos by Emilie Friedlander.