​exclusive film: go behind the scenes of hood by air’s incredible barneys windows

Shayne Oliver pulled out all the stops for the iconic New York department store’s first ever menswear windows, moulding exact replicas of his catwalk models and collaborating with Arca on a Wench soundscape.

05 April 2016, 9:15am

As one of the most eagerly-anticipated appointments on the international fashion calendar, Shayne Oliver's Hood By Air presentations have become known for their radical vision of fashion and beauty, the diverse cast of Oliver's friends and muses, and the atmospheric soundtracks, made in collaboration with the London-based Venezuelan producer Arca. So, for the first ever menswear windows of the iconic Barneys department store on Madison Avenue in New York, HBA were unlikely to merely style the clothes on shop mannequins and have done with it -- Shayne Oliver was always going to create a spectacle, but no-one could have predicted the elaborate, 6-month long project he was to embark on with the Barneys team, a mind-blowingly creative mission to make some of the most inventive and original window displays we've ever seen.

In a recreation of the HBA spring/summer 16 'Galvanize' runway show outside the Philharmonie de Paris in June 2015, the windows feature six life-size mannequins that are hyperrealistic likenesses of six models who walked in the show: Roman, Brandon, Golo, Hirakish and the tattoo-covered Chucky and Sunny. Each model had their face and body cast, and skin tone, features and tattoos painstakingly recreated by Yuji Yoshimoto's Studio UG -- the studio that also created the lifelike mannequins of Yayoi Kusama in windows for her collaboration with Louis Vuitton -- and styled in their full catwalk look, including the memorable mouthpieces made by Dolly Cohen.

i-D can exclusively reveal a behind the scenes video of Hirakish emerging from his mould-making session at Studio UG, above, as well as the soundscape for the window display that was created by Wench -- the collaborative music project of Shayne Oliver and Alejandro Ghersi (Arca), so even if you can't make it to New York, you can recreate the windows from the comfort of your digital screen.

Accompanied by the thoughts of HBA head honcho Shayne Oliver himself:

Shayne Oliver of Hood By Air

How did the idea for the windows come about?
Dennis [Freedman, Barneys Creative Director] actually approached us about the idea. He loved the spring/summer 16 show at the Philharmonie in Paris and wanted to capture that moment and bring it to NY.

What was the experience of seeing the mould casting process like?
The mould casting was really incredible. It was so precise and detailed. I've never seen anything like it.

How does it feel to see the collection and the models presented this way to the streets of New York?
I liked that the collection had time to breathe. The show happened, and then giving people time to digest the collection is great -- almost to let people forget about it and bring it back to them with a certain comfort level. The Barneys window is so New York, and HBA is a brand born in NY, so that's really cool.

Will we get to hear more from music from Wench soon?


Text Charlotte Gush
Photography and film Rick Barroso courtesy Barneys New York