Proenza Schouler’s alternately lady-like and cutting edge collection for Spring/Summer was an exercise in bridging tradition with modernity. The initial looks, tweedy Chanel-like jackets with prim-and-proper tailored knee-length skirts fit for Anna Wintour looked particularly grown-up; fast-forward a few looks, and textural luminous-coloured shibori-dyed dresses paired with edgy flat sandals to suit a cool, youthful Proenza girl took to the floor. The vivid palette largely made up of fluorescent hues, bold arty jewellery and striking sandal-boots anchored the looks in the now, and contrasted beautifully with the ancient Japanese dye technique experimented with throughout. Surface and colour were consistently at play; delicate ruffles adorned waists, necks and hemlines of supple chiffon slips, intricate scale-like sequin detailing embellished entire looks and luminous web-like guipure lace creations appeared at once like something out of the imagined future and distant past. The effect overall was unusual, beautiful and ultimately inspiring. The ease with which the Proenza Schouler design duo, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, straddle the conventional and the innovative, is testament to their seemingly limitless imaginations and aptitude as designers. Their increasingly covetable accessories – the handbags, bold jewellery and footwear were absolute highlights this season, are also an indication of Proenza Schouler’s saleability as a brand.
The effect overall was unusual, beautiful and ultimately inspiring.