I have been distinctly inspired by the aesthetic design choices of Hood By Air, particularly in their most recent 2017 Ready-To-Wear Collection. I am interested in the connection between sex and hysteria and I feel that this collection perfectly unites the two emotional states, somewhere between need and excess. The designer of Hood By Air, Shayne Oliver, looked to fetishism and sex in this latest collection, with the wet faces and hair, the refrain of the printed ‘Pornhub’ logo featured throughout the collection, and the constrictive clothes and double sided shoes which both restrict and vastly slow the model’s movement whilst revealing flesh, allowing the viewer, as voyeur to gaze with pleasure for longer and longer, whilst the model is unable to respond to this obvious objectification, caught in the binds of the fabric. This relates to the theme of hysteria, as often the passive hysterical party is directed by a more powerful party to how they should act publicly, despite their inherent reaction to a situation. This form of control is binding and undeniable, and I am interested in the exchange between the power relationship of the oppressed and the oppressors.
When watching the show, one is struck by the proximity of the audience, one can see them reaching forward, nearly touching the clothes and the models, but they are never quite there – always intimate but never erotic. In addition, it is striking how at once so many people go straight to their phones to take photographs of the collection whilst completely ignoring the real, true garment in front of them, perhaps missing the true beauty of the construction of the garments and the various textures employed. People are more focused on documentation, focusing on looking at the future through the past. Oliver turns this back on the viewer by sending a model down the catwalk to photograph the audience, walking confidently with his phone as his weapon against the glare of the phone’s of the passive voyeurs. I am interested in this reclamation of the view, and the clear act of defiance in this action against the passive, yet controlling observer. I would like to take the themes explored in the Hood By Air show and develop them further in my own work.