It was almost as if Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez chose the derelict building where they showed their latest Proenza Schouler collection as a way to make a statement about the brand. That yes, the company has just opened it first flagship store on Madison Avenue, but that doesn’t mean it has lost its independent edge.
And this collection certainly was edgy- energetic too. Frenetic really, in its use of hard city colors like fire engine red, acid green, neon blue and oil slick black that came in a patchwork mash up of textural fabrics on sporty shift dresses, boxy jackets cut from glossy leathers and snakeskin or low slung photo print skirts.
“We usually go away and we take these research trips, but we didn’t go anywhere this season,” confessed McCollough. “We found we were looking at blogs all the time, and Tumblr, we were on the web and doing a lot of research there; on strange art blogs and music blogs.”
It was from the online universe that the designers found random images taken of public swimming pools, crowds and the seaside that became the backdrop to some of the collection's most evocative ensembles. The running theme of pixilation which started out with perforated pieces at the start and morphed into metal studs snaking down silk dresses and finally climaxed on those photo pint dress that finished the show, clearly underlined how creative and experimental these designers continue to be.
The final four dresses of the show really pushed this collection to a new level. They featured the studs again, but this time panted in vivid colors to make them look as if the duo had used thumbtacks to embellish the top of the dresses. Where the studs left off metal grommets stepped in, like a negative reciprocal to the studs, to finish off the rest of the textural dresses.
These modern day pointillist-like pieces might have blurred the lines between fashion and art. But one thing is clear, this collection - and these designers - still have a lot of interesting things to say.
- Jessica Michault