the rebellious toughness of proenza schouler autumn/winter 17

“We’re always galvanised by what’s going on,” said designer Lazaro Hernandez.

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Feb 14 2017, 9:05am

Cleo Cwiek -- with an Eleven buzz cut, single earring, and flat, white, pointed shoes -- opened today's Proenza Schouler show with a decidedly punk attitude that mirrored the resistance efforts of many women sitting in the front row. Backstage after the show, Lazaro Hernandez talked about being inspired by the "thinking women" he knew, all being mobilised to take political action. "It's a moment of unity, of strength," he said.

For the autumn/winter 17 collection, that feeling translated into pieces shot through with the graphic aesthetic of the subcultures that flourished under Reagan. The sliced logos, primary-colored leathers, and hard-edged metallics presented a strong party line of rebellion. And the painterly slashing of knits and belts evoked punk-era flyers. A page from Pettibon, just in time for his New Museum retrospective.

For their last presence in the NYFW grind for now (in July, the brand will show pre and fall/winter 18 together in Paris), Hernandez and Jack McCollough presented a truly New York woman. Compared with spring's foray into couture shapes, these high-waisted motorcycle pants and mock-neck knits were tough like the city.

Particularly interesting was the array of leathers (a trend that also popped up at The Row this morning). An ankle-length white leather and shearling coat, pants in silver and cobalt, a petal pink wrap dress, all fashioned in leathers of different weights. It felt like protection, for a day that might take you from work to a protest.

Despite the political turmoil that left many Americans feeling unhinged last year, we are all looking for a way forward, a way to be. In that light, today's show was a proposition. As Lazaro said, "Don't you feel hopeful?"

Credits


Text Rory Satran
Photography Mitchell Sams