Back to their roots at Paris couture for Proenza Schouler
An all American moment at Proenza Schouler, whom after being seduced by France for their debut show in Paris last July, riffed on the crafts of crafts of their homeland in a bold and often brilliant collection on a drizzling Monday in Paris.
Bold since the cut and cut-outs and silhouette were all very dashing, and based on the best set of funky booties and seen so far this year in Europe.
Their most novel ideas were often the simplest – simple sheath dresses jazzed up with Indian Nation fabric strips; or West Coast 60s hippie gals in deep gorge saucy versions of Wild West school marm frocks. Before suddenly moving back to New York and a bra and long chiffon skirt ensemble – perfect for a steamy night the Lower East Side.
“It’s a voyage through a borderless world. A voyager picking up objects and memories along the way. With a lot of American craft,” said designer Lazaro Hernandez, citing materials such as traditional macramé done in tubing to look like leather spaghetti; or tie-dyes hand made in California.
“Basically this collection was hand forged. So, we looked at the Seventies and Women’s Lib. It’s sort of like American couture,” added partner Jack McCollough, before correcting himself to stress: “This is our spring ready-to-wear. I’m sorry, our fall ready-to-wear being shown in spring couture.” Before Hernandez laughed out loud: “Who knows anymore! It’s a borderless season.”
Proenza Schouler have always had a medieval strain running thought their oeuvre and it was out in force this season with studded leather, protective shoulders and shaggy fur boleros. Or in hand made ethnic pendants, so large they were almost breastplates – containing hammered bronze and gold, with inlaid stones and amethysts.
The collection had a great raw power, and was ideally staged, one imagines for a budget that was a pittance compared to Dior or Chanel, inside the wrecked basement of a disused, and tatty, 1970s office. Our seats were made of firebricks covered by small scraps of felt. Talk about using modest means to great effect in a some great guerilla staging courtesy of producer Alex de Betak.
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