There was something a little off about this evening’s Proenza Schouler show. For one, the show venue was 23 Wall Street, one of the street’s most iconic buildings, the home of JP Morgan from the most of last century but inside it was empty, save for some worn wood panelling. The top floor was just concrete. A quintessentially American institution that had seen better days. It says a lot about the power and intelligence of what Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez have achieved at their label that you can’t help but notice details like that. You never know what these guys will come up with.
They took on American sportswear – you know, clothes like dresses and tops and skirts and coats. The opening look was a grid check shirt with an evergreen knit tank over it and a white leather skirt. There was something rather controlled about it, however, a feeling that continued with a long knit tank dress and blouses and shirts buttoned-up. A persimmon orange leather shirt and skirt were striking – the colour, the contrasting black collar and white panels, the paper-thin lightness, the just-wrong-enough appeal of it. How’s this for a cool girl look: a black leather shirt, buttoned-up and tucked in, a pair of black leather trousers and kept even more together with a navy blazer. The perforated airiness of a white leather dress, the two-tone leather jogging trousers (two-tone, Kanye, two-tone!), the crochet skirt and dress – they all demanded a closer look.
It all started to unravel, literally. A cobalt woven dress came undone at the hips, its strands making a fringed skirt and finally there was movement. It looked even greater in black and white, teamed with a knit that seemed ready to let loose at the seams too. A study in control and release or unfinished business? No matter what, stepping outside into the fresh night air it was those strands of material dancing around the body that stayed with you.