By Gino Delmas
The soft and deep whispers of Italian singers and the huge countryside manor Villa Manaiao nestled on a hill overlooking Firenze set the scene. It was not an old Italian Maison hosting the whole Pitti clique last night, but the young Brooklyn designer of Hood by Air, Shayne Oliver.
The guest designer of this 87th edition of Pitti Uomo grabbed the occasion to show his FW15 men's collection. If you've ever attended a HBA show, you probably know that Oliver likes to go where you don't expect him.
The show began with ear-splitting screams as a soundtrack. Then the clothes: this collection is far beyond black and white, with camel, pastel pink, or dark blue. Of course the zips, straps and gender question were at the center of the show; all of the guys wore giant eyelashes, were perched on massive wedge heels and Mikki Blanco was the guest star.
Oliver's hip-hop roots were invited, too, with tracksuits, down jackets and black leather pieces. But the designer melded them with classic touches, like fur or suits. The result is a graphic hybrid.
When Oliver's boys went back into the tunnel leading to the gardens, you had to admit that HBA is growing as smart as it is quickly.