proenza schouler took over the whitney for fall/winter 16
Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough christened the new Whitney building with a fittingly modern collection.
photography jason lloyd evans
The new downtown Whitney was designed so that any kind of work could be shown in its galleries (the walls move, the ceiling structure is built to bear extreme weights). Staging a fashion show on the museum's fifth floor probably required less upheaval than installing a Frank Serra, but it was a very impressive feat. Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez were the first designers to present a collection in the new space and it was beautiful: both the clothes and the view through the floor-to-ceiling windows over the river.
Lacing was the standout detail for fall/winter 16. Boxy jean-style jackets had rows of metal D-rings up the torso, crisscrossed with thick laces. A black A-line skirt was secured with a lacing at the waist. And white ankle boots with silver toecaps fastened with tie closures at the back of the ankle.
The driving force was a contrast between ease and restraint. Leather boots in pale tan rose up to the knee, beneath black patent coats with soft shearling collars. Dresses made from technical knits sometimes hugged bodies and sometimes hung loose in stitched-together strips.
The palette was vintage Proenza. Strong blocks of black, white, and neutrals, popped against zesty neons and a soft buttery lemon. The look was clean but soft, finished with another selection of killer earrings (following on from spring/summer 16's sculptural silver winners). This time, they were dangling combinations of sequins and stones that added something organic to the linear structures.
For the finale, patches of downy feather-like fringing ornamented dresses constructed form strips of black, white, and lemon knit. The straps looped through metal grommets that harked back to Proenza's last fall collection — shown in the old uptown Whitney. Rather than a break from Proenza tradition, this was a development of the designers' new signatures, and a demonstration of why they rule New York fashion both above and below 14th Street.
Text Alice Newell-Hanson
Photography Jason Lloyd Evans