Fashion got crazy

Among the more polarizing sights in Manhattan this spring were the Madison Avenue windows of Barneys New York, an unlikely showcase for a series of mannequins. They were ringers for the real-life models who stalked the Hood by Air men’s runway in January, right down to their elaborate tattoos and the uncanny grillwork distorting their grins. During a recent week, passers-by stood welded to the spot, challenged to make what they could of the scene, a curious hybrid of street theater and fashion porn.

Love them or loathe them, the windows, their mannequins lurching toward spectators, lips ringed in jeweled pacifiers, “skin” elaborately inked, were a come-on. They were as surely a testament to a widening fascination with body modification in its most eye-popping extremes: allover tattoos, subdermal implants, piercing, stretching, scarring, branding and the like.

Shayne Oliver, the chief creative force behind Hood by Air, has been quick to exploit that fascination. Of a piece with his musical collaborations on and off the runway, the display was a calculated provocation, in tune, as Mr. Oliver likes to say, with “the language of flamboyancy, the language of exaggeration.”



Your privacy is important to us and we will never rent or sell your information.


Go up