Aprep, a desert dweller, an ab-ex punk…the Proenza Schouler woman has been it all. And regardless of her current penchant for grommeted eveningwear or cowhide coats, her dedication to style is relentless—in many ways she’s the eclectic woman who the Fall 2015 season has been about. She’s been described as arty, downtown, and the ever-elusive “cool,” but the best way to define her is by her modernity, explained designers Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough last night at the French Institute Alliance Française in conversation with Vogue’s Sally Singer. “She’s interested in today. Today changes, so does what the collection is about,” Hernandez elaborated onstage.
For Fall, Hernandez and McCollough’s “today” was about chance. Helen Frankenthaler, whose drip canvases were created by a process of thinning and pouring paint and leaving the final composition up to circumstance, was the jumping-off point. “That freedom was so inspiring to us, so we kind of approached the collection in that way—let’s just see what happens—so we bought fabric, and cut and left things raw, and at the fittings we’d just cut hems, and we weren’t precious at all with some of the collection,” also adding that the pair had “no idea” what the Fall 2015 collection would look like just one week before the show. A ballsy move for a brand so closely watched and admired by fashion insiders and fans alike. But with the stakes raised—the pair referenced the large number of brands housed right here on Style.com’s seasonal index—they noted you have to do something to stand out from the crowd.
“It’s hard to be subtle on the runway. You have to make a little bit of noise these days to be heard,” McCollough explained after the lecture. “It’s always good to piss some people off,” Hernandez smiled during the talk. “And that’s something that we learned early on,” he added, mentioning how their teachers at Parsons “hated them” because of their dedication to creating artful garments versus easy separates. And while their penchant for mixing technology, creativity, artistry, and couture concepts can appear overwrought at times, it’s also piqued the interest of several unnamed European houses that the pair politely declined. “What’s most important to us right now is Proenza Schouler, and if we were gone 50 percent of the year working for someone else’s company, I think it would suffer at this point,” explained McCollough. “We’re really kind of focused on what we do and making our own company—which we own—the best it can be so that it doesn’t suffer. It’s nice to have that freedom and to not really have a boss—we’re our own bosses.”
While designing for two houses is off the market, the pair does have some upcoming adventures they’ll admit to. Hernandez cited menswear and fragrance as two fields they’re “sort of talking about,” so as to avoid “being pigeonholed into a purely women’s brand.” Expansion mode seems to be on their minds, as well. The pair has been busy opening more stores in Asia during the past year, and they also just returned from a trip to Cuba to visit Hernandez’s relatives, the Proenzas. “I met the oldest-living Proenza. I tried to tell him what I do, and he’s like, ‘Is that like Zara?’” Hernandez laughed. “I wish!” chimed McCollough.
Copyright © 2016 |thenews1.com