Proenza Schouler | NYFW SS 2017
Anyone confused by the noise at the end of Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez’s Proenza Schouler show on Monday afternoon is to be forgiven. It’s something we don’t hear much these days — the sound of enthusiastic (bordering on riotous), sustained applause, the kind that can’t be made while slapping one hand on a thigh while Snapchatting with the other. The designers’ 38 looks of in-your-face fashion compelled people to put down their phones and express their appreciation the old-fashioned way.
It was a thrill. The thrill of captivation and engagement; the thrill of not feeling neutral. And not because every thought on parade was brand-spanking new. These guys are intent on developing their business, a tough order in today’s climate. Shifting their show from the 8 p.m. Wednesday slot to Monday afternoon telegraphed intent — they’re focused on the clothes more than the event, and they want to share that focus. To that end, they sought to develop their core, the codes they’ve developed laboriously these past 10 or so years: “color, energy, technology. It’s all of those things, and then it’s crafts and artisanal constructions,” McCollough said.
They offered a variety of cuts, working them into a cohesive whole. Given their interest in handcrafts, their collections tend to have a tribal vibe, even when not specifically intended, as was the case here. On the other hand, bold graphics swung modernist, sending the power of antithesis pulsing through. Here comes an ultra curvy, engineered striped dress; there goes a big flying square of a skirt. There were raw-looking dresses fastened with knots, another code, and a surprise ode to the Bar jacket, precision sculpted over a skirt. A vibrant intarsia mink had a tricked-out T-shirt tied at the waist (it was printed with a Gian Lorenzo Bernini sculpture and a picture of McCullough’s fist). And on and on, never a dull moment, nor an uninspired one.