At the Proenza Schouler show designers Lazaro Hernandez et Jack McCollough looked to work produced during the New York School movement to create a collection that ended up being more art than commerce.
The duo has often been inspired by artists and art movements at the inception of their collections. This season, it was the amorphic expressionism of artist Helen Frankenthaler and the minimalist sculptor Robert Morris’s industrial felt pieces that called to them. A combination that resulted in a collection filled with garments that had a raw, primitive and sometimes tribal energy about them.
The biggest takeaway from this collection was the sense, both the restriction and the release, of movement the designers were able to imbue into their outfits. The eye-catching coats that came fabricated from strips of tweed left sans seams at the hem to swing apart when the models moved and finished with sectional flaps of fabric at the collar were some of the strongest pieces in the show. Beautiful too were a pair of plunging v-necked dresses with pleating sprouting out from one hip. And then there were all of the bandeau ensembles trapping dramatic underlying printed textiles with strips of asymmetrically placed fabric that created a slashed up sense of tension.
There were some quieter designs amongst all the artistic inspiration. The beauty of a well-cut pony coat could not be denied. And the smattering of slim, off-the-shoulder bandeau dresses had some real-world potential. The same could not be said for the grommet and feather adorned Amazon warrior eveningwear. Those belong in a museum right alongside Frankenthaler and Morris.