Proenza Schouler came about in 2002 when two Parson School of Design seniors, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, decided to work together on their senior thesis. The project ended up becoming their first collection
for the womenswear brand. The line was bought in its entirety by Barney’s New York. Since then it has evolved into carrying accessories, opening several Brick and Mortar stores across the world, is sold in 100 exclusive retail outlets, and has won 5 CFDA awards.
“Proenza Schouler is defined by its fusion of craftsmanship and attention to detail with a sense of refined ease. Inspiration drawn from contemporary art and youth culture is combined with an emphasis on tailoring and the use of custom developed fabrics.” [Source]
This is a snippet of the report I did on the brand for my fashion history class last semester… but I thought it was the perfect intro to this post about Proenza Schouler’s S/S 17 collection.
There’s a lot Jack and Lazaro have done well here. First is their in-your-face color and cutouts. The past few seasons have been mostly neutral, so this was a refreshing surprise. During an interview I watched of the two of them, they said the reason they switched their show time this season from night to day, was to highlight the bold colors in the sunlight. When asked about their inspiration for the collection, they said it was a mix of things. A trip to Paris, visiting couture ateliers played a role in their treatment of fabrics. They came across someone who weaves feathers, and makes fabric out of it. They tried it themselves with ostrich feathers, which is what you can see on some of the hemlines above. They were also inspired by a trip to Japan where they saw someone turning thin leather yarns into fabric. They applied this technique to create some of the stripes you see.
Movement was another core element of the collection. The pleats were cut on the bias to allow for more ebb and flow, and even the platform shoes they chose had to do with this idea of movement. “It seemed kind of silly, especially in these shorter silhouettes [to have the models] hobbling around in tall skinny heels, it just felt more right to us to have a tougher shoe that’s lower to the ground, a more confident walk… it felt more stompy, felt kind of cool,” the two exclaim in the video.
The bags, and the shoes, the earrings, and the earlobes all worked together with the clothes to create this super cool-girl effect. Lazaro talked about how the painted ears were sort of an extension of the primitive style earrings. They wanted to break down all of these elements and turn it into a combination of street style and luxury, which is something they do an excellent job of in my opinion.