Season after season, Proenza Schouler shows New Yorkers and fashion lovers alike how to dress in the modern era. Through the youthful and refined sensibility of the fashion house pair, Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough create a look that is experimental and bold, but wearable nonetheless. Proenza Schouler is creating the new school of cool kids in fashion right now, their Fall 2011 showing was a mixture of the ladylike feeling of their Spring 2011 runway and the bold and brash color of their Pre-Fall collection, perfectly blending minimalism and excess.
Inspiration & Technique THE START
The inspiration was their trip from Santa Fe to Wyoming, extremely relevant in today’s fashion. The West has proved to be a source of inspiration for many a designer in recent seasons but none so refined as at Proenza Schouler. The textiles of classic Native American blankets was the jumping off point for Hernandez and McCollough, but their spin on Americana was nothing old or tired. The garments were given a uniquely modern spin which used technology as the weave to the Native American fabrics. Prints were made into pixels, textures were made tough, and the shapes were made chic. The pair used digital printing in a more wearable and accessible manner compared to the somewhat unattainable couture style digital prints of more avant garde designers usually seen, but this worked in their favor. They forced us into the future in an old world way, the fabrics were made from scratch. The autumnal-colored looks were made from house-designed prints, thick knits, leather yarn, hand painted French velvet, and the beautiful Indian-made crochet-like silk macramé which worked together to create a show unique to the Proenza Schouler vision. They introduced classic Native American tradition into the digital age which touches on two of modern youth’s biggest loves, nostalgia and progression.
Experimentation & Relevance THE LOOK
Their experimentation kept everything fresh and new. They created Pendleton-esque lace out of the digitized fabric and made a ladylike shift dress into a kaleidoscope of color, a modern take on both the print and femininity. The minimalist view mixed with bright colors is nothing new, their coats and business-sophisticate pieces were similar to that of Jil Sander’s Spring 2011 runway but the infusion with print and odd textures made the show stand on it’s own entirely. Naturally their it-bags are going to be on the arms of all of the it-girls. The bright orange coat and boldly printed trousers are just about ready to jump into the street style photos of fashion editors come September; while the woven clutches and 90s-like velvets are probably going to be on the super-chic models off duty and the bloggers who write about them.
Proenza Schouler THE NEW SCHOUL
The new crop of young New York fashion designers are varied in aesthetic but have one thing in common, they know how to attract, direct, and sell to the young, strong, and cool girl of today. Proenza Schouler is definitely a front runner in this market and their fans aren’t going anywhere. This latest show has shown that they can move forward with fashion.