Photography Mitchell Sams

Proenza Schouler's AW20 show was unashamedly hot

With bare shoulders and sinuous dresses, the designers proposed a sensual riposte to oversize dressing.

by Jack Sunnucks
11 February 2020, 8:45pm

Photography Mitchell Sams

“I’m burning I’m burning I’m burning I’m HOT” intoned artist Marie Davidson over the spare beats of Proenza Schouler’s soundtrack at their autumn/winter 2020 show. Us too, is all we could think, crammed into large sweaters and down jackets while a particularly “HOT” and creative season rages in New York among all the global doom and gloom. This season, Jack and Lazaro took a decidedly, ahem, cunty turn, finding glamour in high fashion, cutaways, and 80s silhouettes — a follow on from the last few collections, but decidedly more extra. Perhaps they think that the only thing that will sustain us through the dark times is more sex, which this collection is perfect for facilitating.

From the first look, we were in more revealing territory, even if it was just an exposed shoulder. Oversize outerwear was shrugged off in a believable way that evoked how women in New York try to grapple with their coats when not on the frigid streets, accentuated by big buttons and skinny, thigh high boots (waders for the fashionable). Leather dresses and silk, printed shirts had a touch of Gianni Versace about them, a wilder moment amidst the soft shapes and overspilling volumes. There was even a metallic moment or two, one a fine chainmail dress enveloped in a black blanket that sprouted from its back, while Kiki Willems paired hers with her newly blonde hair.

The overall vibe was business as usual, if business is the cocktail season during nuclear winter. The designer’s fascination with pushing design forward is well-suited to the current uncertain mood — a glimmering rebuke to the nostalgia widely found elsewhere. Whatever the future, we’ll surely need clothes. Let them be Proenza Schouler.

Proenza Schouler
New York Fashion Week