Archive for ‘Proenza Schouler’

March 13, 2012

Proenza Schouler Fall 2012


“Warrior” immediately came to my mind when watching the Proenza Schouler Fall show.  There was something incredibly exhilarating about watching the Proenza Schouler girls stomping down that runway with such a resounding presence and thrilling confidence.  Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez have re-defined traditional Eastern dress and sixties punk in a way that is both startlingly cool and completely modern.  What impresses me the most  is how these boys are able to revolutionize a centuries’ old technique and rework it into their own aesthetic, rendering their collection utterly unique–and instantly covetable.  They constantly surprise me with where their latest road trip will take them next.  Their month-long stay in Bhutan and Nepal played rather intriguing role in this latest collection.

While I tend to favor a more tailored silhouette personally, I am rather enamored with the slouchy silhouette the Proenza Schouler boys have going on for Fall 2012.  There is a fantastic effortlessness about the volume and artfully haphazard fastening.  And the over-sized proportions feel perfectly on point for the season, almost like they are enveloping the wearer in a chic protective layer.  Moreover, I love how protective clothing has been re-imagined in their eyes.  This is certainly outerwear like I’ve never seen before.  Cotton pieces, opening the show, were made sturdier with quilted texture and waffled padding whereas dense brocade and woven leather heavily allude to their Far Eastern influence.  It is intriguing how Jack and Laz have fused together elements of the Bhutanese national costume with contemporary pieces; tough biker jackets, tailored peacoats, and collegiate sweatershirts are adapted into an amalgamate of both genres.

In a season that has displayed some rather fantastic monochromatic palettes, Proenza Schouler immediately catches the eye with their geometric prints.  And I love how Jack and Laz have chosen to play with texture along with their strong color palette.  Leather is perforated and blasted into a roughed-up grittiness while brocade and woven leather have been liberally interspersed throughout the collection, adding another layer of intrigue to their already cool pieces.  The embroidered hexagons in the tunic of look 24 for example or the mod pattern seen in look 20 are particular standouts whereas woven leather–found in samurai uniforms–is mixed with metallic paillette into striking miniskirts.  While some looks are more overtly “Asian” than others (look 31 definitely comes to mind), Jack and Laz keep things interesting with asymmetrical piping and daring hemlines.

Moreover, there are plenty of sweater/kilt combinations throughout the collection, bringing back the sort of punkish collegiate style that Jack and Laz had started out with way back when.   I love how they have a cool collegiate chic feel as a backbone to their line.  And while it is always a thrill to see where these boys will go next, the Proenza Schouler girl is always immediately apparent.  Jack and Lazaro never lose sight of who they are as designers which makes their imaginative collections all the more exciting.  And with that, I am finally onto the London shows!

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September 21, 2011

Proenza Schouler Spring 2012


Proenza Schouler has managed to grow up without losing any of its nonchalance or innovation.  Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez has taken kitschy elements from the fifties, added in tribal earthiness of the safari, and woven them into a rather sophisticated and coolly polished collection.  With so many references, one would think that this would result in a hodgepodge of retro pieces and loud prints.  And that would likely happen–if this were anyone else.  However, these boys hardly lose any of their modernity or wit with Spring 2012.  In fact, they have fashioned together something that is effortlessly urban, playfully creative, and utterly them.

That being said, this type of style is definitely not suited to my own.  I have no great love of kitsch or safari-themed clothes.  And I rarely enjoy a loud print.  Jack and Laz made me love this in spite of that.  Certainly, there is a sassiness to the walk and each look that I immediately glommed into.  In fact, I was enthralled by the way the pieces moved in general.  Each has a lovely flow about it, molded into sharp silhouettes and sleek lines.   But it takes more than that for me.  Many designers can control shape and give clean lines.  However, few, if any but these two, would think to craft them out of deeply lacquered leather reminiscent of fifties diner booths (left).  Or turn poodle skirts revealing by weaving them out of slicked raffia (right).  I have a great appreciation for Jack and Lazaro’s creativity if anything else.

Overall, I love how modern their spring feels.  Even with the bags shaped like vintage camera cases (which utterly awesome by the way) (see above), there is an edge to the look.  Clean sheath dresses have been expertly formed out of spliced patterns, including flashes of zebra print and conscientious color-blocking.  Eel-skin side wrap skirts are shown in electrifying blue and orange while collegiate strips are given a twist glossy leather.  And the boys certainly do not limit themselves to earthy tones: sea-foam green and soft turquoise make appearances amid the autumnal color palette.  So in the end, Jack and Lazaro have taken seemingly far removed references and have bound them into a cohesive collection full of edge and elegance.

[Final notes: Love both the incongruousness of the messy hair and the hilarious shag carpet.  Well done boys.]

For further detail on the references (and a much better review), read Hamish Bowles.

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February 19, 2011

Proenza Schouler Fall 2011


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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January 14, 2011

Proenza Schouler Spring 2011 Campaign

Credit: Smile

Melissa Tammerijn and Julia Nobis by Willy Vanderperre for Proenza Schouler Spring 2011 Ad Campaign

First off, go Julia Nobis for landing two of my favorite designers books: this and Alexander Wang S/S 2011 Lookbook.  But while I absolutely raved over the clothes back in September and I still adore the looks now, that neon orange nail polish is what’s really catching my eye.  Perhaps it’s because Melissa and Julia are both so deathly pale, but the vibrancy of the clothes and beauty seems heightened.  I’m not normally a bit fan of brights, but the contrast is really striking.  The models almost appear carved out of stone.  That would normally really freak me out but somehow it works.  Lovely as always Jack + Laz.

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December 27, 2010

Natalie Hockey in Chanel

Credit: Fashion Gone Rogue

Natalie Hockey in Chanel for Grazia Australia January 2011

Love love love the way they’ve presented Chanel here.  The feel of it is completely different from the normal elegant structure of Chanel.  And while Karl does an excellent job with presenting both high end fashion and a down to earth feel, the aesthetic of Chanel has never been present quite like this.  It’s almost like a melding of Proenza Schouler coolness and Chanel ladylike sophistication (conveniently this is pretty much how Proenza Schouler had presented its last spring collection).  Natalie channels this cool aloof character while exuding the elegance and confidence needed for Chanel.  Taking it to the outback is an excellent change of pace for this type of design.

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October 16, 2010

Giedre Dukauskaite by Benny Horne

Credit: Fashion Gone Rogue

Giedre Dukauskaite by Benny Horne in Proenza Schouler for Bon International Fall 2010

God I love Proenza Schouler. So much.  I don’t even care about the editorial.  At all.  When I first heard that there was a shoot entirely of Proenza Schouler clothes, my mind went: “Jack + Laz! I love those Proenza boys!!!!” And…that’s about it hahaha.  So here we are.  This is shoot isn’t spectacular or even really particularly interesting, but the clothes are amazing and the shot above is surprisingly avant garde.  Everything comes together in that one shot.  Sometimes, just sometimes, there only needs to be one.  The fashion industry is all about moments.  The featured shot is a moment: a well-mixed moment of street and haute couture displaying the true meaning of Prêt-à-Porter.

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September 19, 2010

Proenza Schouler Spring 2011

Sometimes, there is a house the just defies all expectation.  And the evolution that occurs manges to both astonish and delight viewers and critics alike.   That is precisely what Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez have done.  Those two have always won fans and critical acclaim alike with their previous work, but this collection has blown all of their previous showings out of the water.  I don’t quite think anyone knew what he/she was in for as the wait for Proenza Schouler began and when that first girl (Julia Nobis) walked down that walkway, you could see the ripples of reaction.  Jack + Laz have managed to stay true to their aesthetic while creating something entirely new for them.   They have utterly eschewed the seventies/nineties reprisals everyone’s been throwing out this week and crafted together a collection that is so utterly them while being refined and at ease.  No wonder, they’ve been keeping this under wraps; even the special preview for Vogue gave absolutely no indication of what was to come.

Moreover, the clothes are so excellently done; Jack + Laz strike the right balance of sexiness (with half-corsets seen underneath translucent dresses and peekaboo lingerie) and elegant (with tweed and and fitted silhouettes).    They maintain their cool-girl vibe with badass knee-high sandals and a tie-dye palette.  They’ve challenged themselves by taking their tie-dye fascination and fashioning it into new concepts that’s entirely unique to them.   The “recurrent shibori theme of the centuries-old Japanese craft technique that dramatically puckers the surface of a garment” brought something new to the table on an age-old technique.  Their vision for Spring 2011 essentially is this: “shibori silk tees, dresses, and skirts in colors super-intense (electric pink, acid yellow) or soft (apricot, lavender), worn with seamed silk tweed jackets and straight-cut canvas pants, and all accessorized with sixties-like pointed pumps.”

And I’ll say this again and again: I absolutely adore Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez.  They continue to thrill me, surprise me, and excite me about fashion.  They fascinate me as personalities and impress the hell out of me with their creativity.  They have warranted every single syllable of praise that they’ve been given since the beginning.  They continue to set a standard of excellence with their unique take on clothes.  And moreover, this happens to be the one collection that I choose to save in its entirety.  I have only ever done this with Alexander McQueen’s last collection and Olivier Theysken’s last collection for Nina Ricci.   They are in company of the best.  And I hope that others will see what I see: something magical.

Please see Vogue‘s review on this collection; Mark Holgate has the true expertise to do this justice.

Edit: And for those who missed the runway show, you can watch it here.

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June 18, 2010

Proenza Schouler Resort 2011

Proenza Schouler, without a doubt, is one of my favorite houses ever.  Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez demonstrate the exquisite craftsmanship of experience and the innovation of the young.  And with every passing year, they have the ability to enrapture us with what they have to offer.  This resort collection is no different.  Absolutely fantastic.

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February 19, 2010

Proenza Schouler Fall 2010

Not only do I love the Proenza boys, I love their clothes.   They most definitely design for the trendy set; they predict the future and become trendsetters for the rest.  They’re like the cool hunter of designers.  Very awesome.  Especially since Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough love subversive twists and being anti from others.  Which is a little ironic since their clothes are known for being trendier than trendy.  This collection is no different.  I love their collegiate influence this time around as well as the ink stain prints.  They recreate the collegiate prep with flair and quirk.  One of my favorite things that Lazaro Hernandez has ever said is that “she’s really sort of proper but a little nuts” way back when.   That description fits their girl perfectly.  They are a lot to take in the first time around but take the time and you will soon appreciate their awesomeness :)

See Rest of Collection