Boys and Dolls at Hood by Air

The delicious thing about Hood by Air, even in a season of menswear getting dubbed “gender-bending” left and right, is that Shayne Oliver is more about providing possibilities than articulated answers on the hows and whys of who wears what. In the case of the brand’s latest Spring/Summer 2016 menswear show, presented over the weekend in Paris, baby barrettes were clipped into the models’ hair, and fetish-y pacifiers and exaggerated, padlocked grills stretched mouths into grinning, grimacing poses, while crystal decals spelled out “DOLL,” “TOY,” and “ICON” over the eyebrows. The silhouette: voluminous, layered, cut-out and zippered, riffed on a part-Matrix, cyber clubwear idiom, lightened up with denim and plenty of white, pale blue, and Barney purple. HBA’s signature logo tops were present, but the most fascinating pieces seemed to be separates (including draped, ruched bodices; deconstructed blazers; shorts) connected by zippers, and cut-out iterations of the classic raver pant, the UFO.