The pointy-toed thigh-highs shown at Hood By Air today weren’t exactly what you’d call sensible. And yet New York-based musician Hirakish, an HBA regular, made walking in them look easy, stalking the runway with a certain raw grace.
The fire-engine red boots also recalled the style of certain gender-bending icon: Rick James. The risk-taking rocker took to the cover of this 1981 hit album Street Songs shod in a pair of bright red over-the-knee boots that would become the marker of his signature look. Coming up in the time of Prince and David Bowie, James took a fearless approach to dressing, combining his hardcore, bawdy lyrics with equally audacious ensembles: form-fitting spandex, body-hugging leather, and sequined everything. Masculine and feminine, James played mercilessly with dress and gender codes—an ethos that Hood By Air’s Shayne Oliver has championed in his designs since the collection’s inception, and one that Jaden Smith, who sat front row, subscribes to with his own clothing choices, too. Whether pure coincidence or not, Hood By Air gave this perennial style the reboot it needed.
Watch the Hood By Air Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear show:
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