Arctic Performance Art at Highland

As I entered the surreal, interactive and arctic world of Highland’s Fall/Winter 2014 menswear presentation, a tiny foam ball masquerading as a miniature globe was surreptitiously thrown at my back by one of the male models wielding an antenna like a weapon. It threw me off balance and forced me to pause and dissect the chorus of profound philosophical statements and social commentary on display.

As the balls continued to be tossed out at—and kicked back by— unsuspecting viewers—the backdrop antennas could have been conduits for dialogue between us and a globe that we’re currently on a path to destroy.

One thing for certain is that the Highland man is ready and prepared for whatever is being thrown at him. The performance-geared clothes are, by and large, perfect attire for a polar vortex—or worse, given Manhattan’s recent onslaught. A puffer jacket in sheer white nylon revealed goose down beneath its stuffing; hinting at the transparent nature of the modern-day man who bears his soul. Conversely, a wool gauze swat pullover came with a detachable mosquito net hood, for anonymity in a social media-driven world.

Some models wore shell and leather jewelry that nodded to tropical destinations or drastic temperature rises. Could they, and an abstract map printed on an Oxford button down shirt have been a subtle reminder to shift perspectives toward the planet and not just the egocentric world we tend to dwell in? Who knows; but for Highland the time has come for a new American standard. Their man is a new species who chooses to look forward, even if he realizes that what the future holds isn’t so sweet.

Photography by Andrew Boyle, Joe Marquez and Koury Angelo

Follow Mary Fellowes on Twitter @MaryFellowes

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