Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez have a lot to celebrate these days. They’ve passed their 10 year mark in the business, they finally have the ample financial backing to support even their most luxe Proenza Schouler concoctions and they finally have their own flagship store – on Madison Avenue, no less. Feeling out the flow of the fashion tide for a few seasons now, it may be safe to say that Proenza Schouler is the new must-see show on the New York Fashion Week docket. Time to let go of that baton Marc Jacobs.
With all they have to celebrate, how apropos is a ‘Greatest Hits’ collection at this point? It may not have been intentional, but Proenza Schouler’s latest collection, all its mighty bravura aside, came across as self-referential at times, despite McCollough and Hernandez’s insistence on internet ‘randomness’ as their guiding trope for the season. Tumblr and the happenstance of landing on a good shot here, a great shot there, made for a show that was filled to the brim with collage, patchwork, mixed-media, whatever you want to call it. But, in all those jumbled arrangements were highlights of PS shows past. The neon chartreuse on a python pastiche jacket was an immediately recognizable shade of Proenza Schouler green (refer to their Spring ’10 outing, when they designed for the tie-dyed, wet-suited up surfer girls they love hanging out with). There were embroidered shirts with patch-pocket detail, akin to some of the red tops from last season and the swathes of teal on a patchwork dress was the same as last February’s short tube dress with an envelope hem as worn by Daria Strokous.
There was a real resort feel to some of the pieces, the opening garments in particular. A green eye-let dress with a key-ring zip down the front and a collage dress in patches of green, white, black and classic python had the body molding slickness of a scuba neoprene. Leaving the python behind, the guys went for printed swatches in geometric and variegated arrangements of pseudo-necktie strips along the bias of a dress – one patch of panels resembling a glimpse of rain forest, the adjacent pieces like overblown typography sketches.
They ended right back in the ocean, but far from where they started, thanks to that nifty image roulette device. The closing dresses were printed in bold neon colors with a barely discernible postcard paint rendering of a “Sunday at the beach” landscape. The duo created an elaborate palimpsest effect, covering the print in an effervescent bubbling of metal grommets on the skirt and dotting the tops with fluorescent colored studs that looked like minuscule rubber stoppers. They’re so damn tricky these two. For weeks now you haven’t been able to turn a corner in New York without running into one of their bananas and oranges, tadpoles and roosters posters announcing the opening of their flagship on August 22nd. Logic would have it that these were definitely blueprints of the collection to come. But there was none of that anywhere. To see that collection, your imaginations will have to suffice.