INTERVIEW | PROENZA SCHOULER'S PARISIAN ESCAPE

Paris is always a good idea. At least, that's what Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, the two masterminds behind the New York-based brand Proenza Schouler, told themselves when they opted to showcase their Spring/Summer 2018 women's ready-to-wear collection during the Fall/Winter 2017 Haute Couture shows in the City of Light. Now, one might wonder why the designer-duo decided to reveal their collection months ahead of the September session of women's ready-to-wear runway shows in New York, London, Milan, and Paris. Is it a sign of their willingness to "upgrade" their very sophisticated ready-to-wear brand, which has many similarities to Couture anyway? Or is it just a rebellious marketing move? It's a bit of both, if you ask us, but let's hear what the prominent duo has to say. We met with Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez for a quick interview backstage after their show and we can already assure you that the designers' Parisian escape is certainly not their last.


Proenza Schouler - Photo by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION

On showcasing their ready-to-wear collection in Paris for the first time. 

Jack McCollough: We've been spending a little more time in Paris lately, as we've launched our new fragrance here. In our free-time, we've been researching all those little independent ateliers that are specialized in certain artisanal techniques, such as ribbon work, feather applications, and hand-weaving. We just did a lot of research and kept our minds and energy going to explore the essence of Paris.

On their new Spring/Summer 2018 women's ready-to-wear offering. 

Lazaro Hernandez: It's a big mix of everything. It's the world we live in – it's a bit of ready-to-wear, a bit of made-to-measure, and there are some Resort influences as well. It's one collection, one world. Our collaboration with all these artisans allowed us to fully visualize the collection. We even flew some embroiderers to New York – and it's been a month now that we've been working with them. We also collaborated with the iconic Maison Lesage.

Jack McCollough: We wanted our collection to be optimistic, and less cynical. It's a commitment to beauty, in a way. We focused on surface work, powdery looks, and fluffy textures.


Proenza Schouler - Photo by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION

On why perversion and a little kinky touch make for a good collection. 

Lazaro Hernandez: The shoes were quite low this season and also noisy – you could hear the sound they made when the models were sporting them on the runway. We opted for footwear with big ruffles that were similar to sneaker tongues; it just added a desirable fetish element to the collection. We also embroidered shoes with different metal bits that were powder-coated to match the satin that they were embroidered on. It was nice to mix both soft and hard elements into one piece – it kind of perverted the collection a bit. We've also played a lot with inner constructions, such as bustiers and bras, as we wanted to bring vernacular, Couture-ish elements back on the runway. We wanted to break these styles up and play with those codes, and re-put them together in a way that felt contemporary and in-the-now.

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