Amelia Earhart is worshipped as a feminist hero, so it's somewhat unusual to celebrate, as N.Hoolywood
's Daisuke Obana did, the men who instructed and supported her. Well, no woman is an island, not even a flying one. The Earhart inspiration—both the pilot and her milieu—gave rise to a collection steeped in the 1920s, from the shapes of the lapels and collars to the use of the rich, regal purple that Obana says was a key color for the time. Prior to launching N.Hoolywood, Obana was a vintage buyer and scout; his yen for research and historical authenticity informs all his collections. The designer visited Earhart's home in Kansas, the airport she flew from, and a local museum dedicated to female aviators. In homage to the woman at a menswear label, he mixed in fabrics more commonly associated with womenswear, like the rayon, resembling parachute silk, used for side-zip trousers and pilot's jumpsuits. (Look closely and you'd notice that one of the tousle-haired models actually was
a woman—shades of Earhart herself.)
As with all Hoolywood collections, this one was beholden to its own conceit. Despite the eternal stylishness of peacoats and bomber jackets, a faint flavor of costume hung over the whole. But sentimental as it may sound, Obana's own conviction was convincing—particularly when he revealed that the collection was a love letter of sorts to the Sunflower State. He'd been ten times in his previous incarnation as a vintage buyer, snapping up unappreciated native treasures for sale abroad. "Kansas was very great," he said backstage. Many take, but few give back.