A Fashion Show Inspired By "Inappropriate" Dress Codes

Photo: MCV Photo.
Photo: MCV Photo.
Photo: MCV Photo.
Photo: MCV Photo.
Pleated skirts; flowy, high-slit dresses; lace-up platform sandals; and clutches or backpacks resembling the chintzy tufted throw pillows normally spotted at your grandma’s home were shown on both male and female models. (Those cushion-y accessories are actually inspired by the pillow Empire’s Cookie tried to smother Lucious, her ex-husband/on-and-off lover, with in Season One). With the collection’s shades of pink and surprisingly frilly touches, there were more feminine vibes than in any previous HBA collections at face value.

There was a message behind the makeup, too: Models’ faces were streaked with varying shades of foundation and powder, using contouring techniques but intentionally skipping that crucial last step of blending. It felt like a cheeky bit of commentary on pop culture’s obsession with Kardashian-level preening and plastic-y perfection, as well as on fitting in versus standing out. Even the soundtrack was significant — it was the first track by Wench, a new collaboration by Oliver and producer Arca, which mixes everything from t.A.T.u. to Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, along with Oliver rapping. Wench’s debut album is expected to roll out next year.

Oliver’s naughty-schoolkid models were chosen this season by Walter Pearce, who handled street casting, and Evelien Joos, who handled agency casting, with an eye for the unconventionally beautiful. (The non-professionals seemed to walk with the most swagger.) Even without a vogueing finale, models on crutches, or a Great Dane on the runway, you can count on Oliver to give the fashion crowd a hell of a lot of mull over.
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