FADER NYFW, Spring 2014
Proenza Schouler’s past collections have felt like screen shots of their laptop come to life. The designer duo, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, often reference multiple places at once, accessing them mostly online. Their spring 2013 collection was a literal transformation of their browser, with the pair mining Tumblr for inspiration and coming up with voluminous collages of electric hues and contrasting textures. McCollough and Hernandez’s fixation with the Internet has helped them keep their edge among older designers, as well as consumers. Proenza Schouler was the first in their industry to produce a GIF-marketing campaign and have embraced their website as a selling tool – while other luxury goods designers have ignored the platform altogether. This season, McCollough and Hernandez played less conceptually with technology, showing off the techniques they’ve honed since their 2002 graduation from Parsons.
Characteristically though, McCollough and Hernandez flexed their skills in an understated way. Metallic fabrics were spliced and stitched onto accordion pleated skirts that flowed down the runway. Coats, culottes, and dresses were deconstructed with exposed contrasting seams. Wooden platform shoes had their grain refined into stripes. And their spring ’14 collection’s centerpiece, a metal crop top accessorized with a strand of sculpted flowers, felt more feminine than stiff. Which is all to say that Proenza Schouler is still the biggest innovator in town.