Highland USA’s boys are basement dwellers. Last season, the Bushwick by way of Venice Beach and Utah brand showed in a trophy, lava lamp and Dorito stacked bunker beneath Milk Studios. Last night, it was downstairs at Santos Party House.
A basement would be where Highland’s make of skids would hide. Lead designer Lizzie Owens fashions dream boys out of muslin, mesh, and microfiber. Like a nineties nostalgic Pygmalion, she brings our generation (wh)Y’s ideal juvenile back to life.
Highland’s SS14 presentation was the most romantic of NYFW and, yes, we are only two days in; it won’t be topped. The scene was homosocial creeping on erotic: a weight room, carpeted and curtained, in royal jewel tones, like one of Lynch’s dreams, full up with posturing teenage testosterone. The pining soundtrack (Ooh Baby, You’re so Baby) was the mallet to my tender heart. Every perfectly articulated Highland garment—from the crochet beanies down to the Umbro inspired shorts—felt like a love letter to the boys of my past.
You know the ones—the too-cool dudes whose smiles, when they crack, hit your heart like a long pulled bong hit. With broad shoulders the rest of his body hasn’t grown into yet. And body hair only there. The pretty young man whose sullenness is a pure expression of the existential sensitivity of all mortal things. The sight of his strong, novice hands running through his own hair resonates like Kurt Cobain absent-mindedly strumming a guitar. His ass…
What was it like to be you?
I left Santos crushed. Angsty, desirous, pelvis crooning, heart panging, feeling like I haven’t since an R+J-era Leo poster decorated the ceiling above my top bunk. “Every love story is a ghost story,” the one who makes my head throb heartlike used to repeat. Highland SS14 haunted me. Its pleasure is its pain, channeling a time I can’t reclaim. There’s promise, though, in such authentic dress. Fantasy role play. Anyone wanna wrestle?