nyfw: jack and lazaro of proenza schouler on the darker side of american sportswear
Proenza Schouler's spring/summer 15 collection unravelled bourgeois tidiness and deconstructed the preppy tropes of Ivy League Americana.
Take the classic American girl, Mary Tyler Moore for example. She wears demure skirts and blouses to work, polos and hooded parkas out sailing, a cozy Argyle sweater to a football game. Now throw that traditional wardrobe through the postmodernist, deconstructive creative process of Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, and you've got an inkling of what spring/summer 15 looks like for one of fashion's most ingenious duos. A thought-provoking evolution from bourgeois tidiness to an experimental unravelling, the collection referenced American style while completely reimagining it.
After the throngs of well-wishers dispersed, as many from the art world as the fashion scene, we asked Jack and Lazaro about the genesis of this strong, dark, outing. "We started playing with this idea of classic American sportswear," began Jack. "The actual clothes that you think of, like a polo, a parka, an anorak, a pleated skirt with a soft blouse, argyles. So we started tearing apart all those different codes, and funneling it through our minds." Added Lazaro: "Yeah, it's a deconstruction of the codes of classic American clothes."
Lazaro continued, "The idea at the beginning was this polished, otherworldly put-together-ness, and as the show progressed it became a little more deconstructed, sort of breaking apart. At the end it was totally destroyed. For us that contradiction is really interesting. Something lurking under the surface of all that polish."
So, concretely that might mean: a plaid satin buttoned-up blouse with a forest green knitted vest and white knee-length skirt, an oversized white parka, a drastically cut-out navy argyle sweater over a fringed skirt. Decades were mish-mashed in an appealing way. Nothing was sacred. And cuts stayed close to the body for that signature Proenza structure.
One element was so subtle you might have missed it: the models' baby hairs were combed forward stickily onto their necks. "It gave it some static and a backstory," said Lazaro. "You don't know where she's been, what she was doing, why she is a little wet. There's something a little wrong." A little wrong perhaps, but also a whole lotta right.
Text Rory Satran
Photography Mitchell Sams