Proenza Schouler Pre-Fall 2012 Collection

by Alexander Patino

Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez are hot off back-to-back triumphs on the runway for Proenza Schouler and they’re proving, season to season, to be masters of the fashion about-face. In their ten years of business they’ve stockpiled a number of signature pieces, but they never make the same collection twice. Travel. Trips. This is the connecting thread in the latest Proenza Schouler outings, this pre-fall collection to be counted among those. A trip to New Mexico cued the tribal and crafty mastery of their spring 2011 line-up, which won them the coveted CFDA Award for Womenswear of the Year for a second time, while their fall show was laden in 1950s futuristic roadside architecture. For pre-fall their sartorial GPS, if you will, honed in on the Himalayas for a collection driven by new essential sportswear pieces and the outerwear of tomorrow.

McCollough and Hernandez managed to do the unthinkable – they played with layering, but took out all the fuss and torment. It’s a fashion riddle that evades everyone. Good, standout pieces in people’s wardrobes get lost under the necessity of a – more often than not – drab parka or quilted jacket. But the Proenza Schouler guys make that qualm a thing of the past, turning modern, ultra-sports cut parkas and imbuing them in an emerald tweed. The answer lay in the repurposing of traditional outerwear materials like nylon and down quilt into the tops, skirts and dresses of the collection, and inversely, taking the staple textiles of sportswear onto outerwear pieces that don’t compromise aesthetics for utility.

Some of highlights included the day tops and shirt-dresses that looked repurposed from nylon windbreakers, as well as a terrifically chic A-line frock that looked refashioned from a quilted jacket. Oh, and those seemingly textured pieces that almost look like wrinkled foil under blue and green lenses, are actually arial views of mountains the duo ripped from Google Earth. This latest will surely have the fashion ‘it’ girls everywhere succumbing once again to McCollough’s and Hernandez’s chic and nerdy vision.

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