Proenza Schouler returns home in style

After three collections showing in Paris, New York’s Proenza Schouler returned rather triumphantly to Manhattan with a deftly revolutionary collection staged somewhat ironically in that bastion of American capitalism, Wall Street.

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Proenza Schouler - Spring-Summer2019 - Womenswear - New York - © PixelFormula

Presented Monday afternoon in a disused bank building, where guests had to march up an out-of-service escalator to a raw space on the second floor, this was a self-consciously artistic display of fashion. Gone were the embroideries, feathers, fabric manipulations and intricate leatherwork that marked their hiatus in Paris.
Instead, this raw and gutsy collection was made entirely of Japanese denim, cotton gabardine and poplin, and all treated, sewn and stitched in New York and Los Angeles.
Acid-dyed denim, worthy of an East German trucker, cut into wide frock with multiple ruffles; a metallic silver gabardine shirt worn with black saddle-stitched denim skirt; elephantine painters pants paired with cotton singlets and giant carpenters hold-all bags with the brand logo. Shirts and tie-dye tops completed with images of bulky skyscrapers mixed with roses.
Most looks finished with pants that were tied or wrapped around court shoes. Simple yet supremely modern, this was without a doubt New York’s most original collection this season. A triumphant return to their homeland by Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez.
The duo worked closely with Berlin-based artist Isa Genzken, whose installation formed the entrance of the show. A series of five mannequins, partly dressed in Proenza Schouler shirts, nylon smocks and spectacles, with photographic images tied around their necks.

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Proenza Schouler - Spring-Summer2019 - Womenswear - New York - © PixelFormula

“Isa has always been a reference point for us. In June we called her and proposed this idea,” explained Jack.
“We did not want a collaboration. We feel that’s an overused word these days,” said Lazaro.
“But we liked the idea of building off each others ideas,” continued Jack.
“Two independent bodies of work in conversation with each other,” concluded Lazaro, explaining that when they sent several garments to Genzken in Germany they had no idea what she would do with them. In the end it was an installation, and they started riffing off that.
Just 30 looks, and cut the guest list in half, with barely 200 guests. A hyper focused show and all the better for it.
“Last season we explored tie-dye and it turned out our best-selling look from Paris was a tie-dye long dress in velvet jersey. Plus, it was the most shot editorially. Which made us think, maybe embellished was not so needed? Everything doesn’t need to cost $12,000!” laughed McCollough.

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