Proenza Schouler Fall 2011

Credit: Vogue.com

Before I launch into my thoughts on this, watch the video.  The pictures simply don’t do it justice.

Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez went a bit print happy for their Fall collection.  But instead of overwhelming the collection, the prints were enveloped into the Proenza Schouler aesthetic.  The boys (I guess I should stop calling them that considering they’re 30 now…) take something we think we know–in this case, it was Native American blankets–and transform it until it becomes this modern sophisticated street vision that Jack + Laz dream up.  In fact, aside from the distinctly western flavor, I would have hardly recognized their particular inspiration.  Jack and Lazaro’s vision comes across that strongly.   The way those two see the world is certainly unique.  Last September, they had taken the ancient method of shibori and crafted it into a thoroughly youthful yet highly sophisticated ladylike spring collection.  It was astonishing.  And while I’m not exactly flailing like an insane person about this collection, I still find it brilliant.  Watching the show and seeing the collection in movement was riveting.

Personally, I am not a big fan of western style.  I don’t care for fringe, and I find cowboy boots a tiresome cliché.  However, the design skill of Jack + Laz trumps any reservation I have about their western inspiration.  The best part for me were the dresses.  I love how they turn printed sheath dresses sexy with cut-out geometry.  Moreover, Jack and Laz use a cut-out style I have yet to see: slitted seams held together with faggoting stitches on wool crepe color blocked dresses.  As a result, they are subtly sexy and make the dress “wink open” (they absolutely caught my eye in the live show).  And the blanket wrapped cocktail dresses are hot.  I love how they’re leather-edged and belted.

And as the collection develops, it is clear that Jack and Lazaro are crafting together something thoughtful and complex and so utterly them.  Not only are their designs complex, but the fabrics used provide a unique and well-crafted foundation.  The dense graphic weaves are spun in Italy while the velvet chiffon are hand painted before being dissolved in acid.  Who, other than those two, would think to do something like that?  Those velvet chiffons are then spiral cut to envelop the body in sensual coils.

The boys reinforce their mastery of cut and proportion with this collection.  And better yet, in a thoroughly inventive, quirky way.  But I don’t feel that my thoughts on this is enough to convey the genius of Jack and Lazaro.  Read Hamish Bowles ‘s review for a better understanding of this brilliant Proenza Schouler collection.

Oh and, T Magazine gave them the win for the day on their critics’ scorecard :D

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