Relaxation was the theme at Hood By Air’s SS ’17 show yesterday. From sweatsuits and hoodies, to shirt-dresses and seriously relaxed sleeves, all the way to the show’s location—a men’s-only underground sex sauna—the presentation was all about designer Shayne Oliver chilling out.
“I think that I’ve been pushing boundaries for quite awhile,” he said yesterday. “I’m just in the mood to relax a bit.”
The models casually traipsed around the upstairs lounge, flirting with the audience, to an even hornier remix of The Divinyls’ 1990 cult classic, “I Touch Of Myself.” Then, the crowd followed the boys downstairs and watched them strip down to their thigh-high PVC stiletto boots before jumping into a pool.
“Instead of inviting people to be at our atelier, we’d rather bring them to a sauna so they can feel a bit relaxed,” Oliver said.
But the scene was sweatier and more exciting than it was peaceful, and the location he chose isn’t your average spa. Sun City is Europe’s largest gay sauna, a fixture in Paris’ nightlife scene. Patrons can soak in various jacuzzis, swim and steam, all to a tenacious club soundtrack.
An usual setting for a fashion show, Oliver is no stranger to pushing boundaries and writing his own rules. HBA’s latest collection saw the designer creating anti-fashion that offers the wearer physical support, including braces, slings and casts that actually function. With re-imagined rugby shirts and sarcastic slogans like, “Do You Know Where Your Children Are,” and “Dead Inside,” Oliver seemed to be highlighting his seeming disdain for the fashion industry. The collection’s effortlessness and the location itself, however, all expressed a need for healing.
“It was about illustrating the idea of healing, and moving on,” he said. “For me, I’m trying to relax and rebuild and get a new vibe.”