proenza schouler’s triumphant homecoming
Back in New York, the duo show a decisive take on denim.
Photography Mitchell Sams.
Proenza Schouler has shown in Paris for the past two seasons. While there, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez’s aesthetic skewed, if not Parisian, then decidedly dressy. For spring, they staged a double bill of a homecoming, both returning to New York, and to the more streetwise look that fans of the label love.
Over the course of 31 looks, the duo offered a treatise on denim in all its forms. The show opened with a sharply tailored denim blazer and skirt, worn over bulky boots, the Proenza take on office wear. Somehow, they made acid wash, the bane of the 80s, look chic, whether as the aforementioned blazer, in a voluminous dress, or worn as a bulky shirt (worn to great effect by Tasha Tilberg in another business-casual getup). Amber Valletta appeared in a silver vest worn over a knee length denim skirt, a picture of homesteading from 100 years into the future. The designers’ fondness for conceptual dressing was still apparent from complicated, otherworldly cutaway gowns, but making everything in jean gave the whole affair a much more realistic edge. Karen Elson sloped out in a rigidly cut black suit, while on the other end of the spectrum, Kaia Gerber was resplendent in an oversize, yellow shirt. More so than usual, Jack and Lazaro seemed to suggest that Proenza was for a breadth of women — the variety of shapes made sure of it.
Perhaps the shape that made the biggest stir, quite literally, as it skimmed guests’ laps, was their enormous new bags. They were huge and humble in canvas, something to shove half your life into (the problem with bags is they demand to be filled). Their almost surreal size perhaps best illustrated the happy tension the designers are finding between conceptual ideas — they collaborated with Isa Genzken on a mannequin artwork at the entry to the show — and clothes that women want to wear. New York is a better place with ideas like theirs around.