Since launching Proenza Schouler in 2002, New York based designers Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough have become known for the effortless fusion of craftsmanship and attention to detail in their refined womenswear brand. Having met whilst studying at Parsons School of Design, the duo worked together on their senior thesis which then became their first collection as Proenza Schouler. The brand, named after their mothers’ maiden names takes inspiration from youth culture and contemporary art, with an emphasis on tailoring and custom developed fabrics the collections encapsulate a sense of refined ease.
Influenced by 1940s abstract Expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler, minimalist fabric sculptor Robert Morris and hard-edged painter Ellsworth Kelly, Proenza Schouler’s dramatic and innovative AW15 collection had a pronounced sense of freedom. Dubbed as their ‘most technical collection yet’ this season’s offerings included highly complex textile processes involving repeated needle-punched chiffons that were layered on tailored and tweed pieces to create a stiffened fabric as well as densely embroidered sequins and metallic flocked textures. Black fish-netting was left exposed under cut and slashed bandage-like dresses, thick felt suits and coats featured heavy lapel appendages whilst pared-back chiffon dresses were adorned with grommets. Managing to combine their artistic references in a figurative way, the treatment of fabrics and muted greys created a dramatic yet soft feel. The pieces were imbued with a sense of tension and release through the movement of fabrics whilst the stark monochrome palette, accented by deep red, resulted in an energetic and forward-thinking collection.