A.G.E OF SHAYNE FOR COLMAR words Hugo Fernandes - images courtesy of Colmar
As far as collaborations go, it is not hard to know when a collab will be one to make a mark in the history of fashion, you just need to look at who's involved in it and you can say with some level of certainty that, this one, is not just any collaboration. The latest collaboration to make us feel that way is the one between Hood by Air's Shayne Oliver and Italian heritage activewear Colmar. A.G.E (Advanced Garment Exploration) sees Oliver taking on the unique task to design alongside Colmar and by doing so, taking things into a whole new level of cool.
Shayne, whose CV includes designing at Helmut Lang before starting his own eponymous label Hood By Air, introduces us to a collection that re-imagines ski-wear looking into the brand's 90-year-long history and archive to create a collection that brings the past into the present. A.G.E is in all its elements bold and audacious, traits we are used to seeing in Shayne's work, yet, the precise and harmonious combination of his own aesthetic to Colmar's makes this not only a trendsetting collection but a step up on the ski-wear game.
By taking Colmar's heritage style and craftsmanship on board, Shayne has infused it with his unique surreal aesthetic which has made him a reference in underground sportswear and an icon in our time. Oliver has turned classic mountain attire, such as the heavy-duty jackets and ski trousers, into multipurpose pieces where silhouettes are sharpened and volume is added to give a futuristic warrior feel. Among the many incredible and unmissable features seen throughout this collection are the side hood and the jacket attached to another jacket that also turns into a backpack - mastering multi-functionality - as well as the oversized silhouettes which are made to perfection and in a way that functionality is not compromised.
The bulky layering created is just to die for, or, to want to live for. And you may be wondering how two very distinctive brands - classic heritage Colmar and edgy "I-do-it-my-way" Oliver - could meet and come to agree on creating together. In a recent press release, Shayne shared that their “...encounter is an experiment in mood and energy which drives the outerwear collection a maximum, juggling the iconic products of Colmar with my sense of performance and a unisex approach to wearing fashion,” and the American designer continues by revealing his own design process while making the collection; “Colmar has an incredible heritage in outerwear and it is indisputably the master of ski apparel. Searching through their almost centenary archives was exciting. And it was particularly intriguing to transform these collections and reconfigure them through street language and my aesthetics."
When you look at the collection and imagery created for A.G.E you can easily see the connection between the Alpine realms and the underground sportswear scene, having a sense that the collection is powered by the concept of mixing the Alpine universe with the underground one found in the concrete jungles of the world. This concept has been perfectly contextualized in the images shot by American photographer Jordan Hemingway and the videos shot by New Zealand director Sharna Osbourne in VHS and Super8. The collection has as its backdrop the stunning and picturesque Austrian Alps creating a level of depth that goes beyond imagination.
When speaking about the blend of classic and underground, Giulio Colombo, CEO of Colmar with responsibility for products states; “Seeing how Shayne Oliver has interpreted our history was definitely interesting, the association between our two worlds, if at the start I thought would be difficult to see, has produced amazing results. What I appreciate is that while reworking iconic pieces of the past in an extreme way, Shayne has been able to preserve their soul and so it is easy to guess which jackets, sweatshirts, and trousers were his inspiration.” Colombo also continues by saying that the Alpine nostalgia was "understood in a revisionist sense," which has become an important topic for the Italian brand who has "come from that world and who have created and invented aesthetics for that world, the mountains, skiing and the cold, which are still very topical.”
The A.G.E of Shayne Oliver for Colmar is the perfect translation of what the past, present, and future look like when blended all together. It is done to perfection and not obvious or overdone in any shape or form, in fact, this collection sets a higher bar within the design realms and takes classic meets underground into a whole new dimension.
The A.G.E. of Shayne Oliver for Colmar collection is launching mid-September at Dover Street Market NYC, Browns Fashion and other global premium retailers. For more information visit Colmar.it