THE Proenza Schouler the boys are in a contemplative mood.
“We went to bed at 8:30 p.m., not drinking, obsessing over every little detail of this collection and driving everyone crazy,” Lazaro Hernandez said with a laugh during a preview of the spring 2024 collection.
It turns out that, like many of us, they’re thinking about the state of art and commerce as it relates to all aspects of culture, but particularly fashion. For the duo, from Parsons, with 20 years of experience under their belt, it’s personal. But it’s also a larger conversation in the industry about designers who aren’t necessarily trained but are hired because of their ability to attract attention, about the renaissance of brands selling products more than new ideas, and so on.
“It makes us sad,” Jack McCollough admitted. “We are creative souls and somehow we put our blood, sweat and tears into this project and managed to survive and have a thriving business employing 100 people. Clothing should be commercial, but for our soul it should also be artful and hopeful. So it’s about finding that balance.
They found it Saturday afternoon in their stunning spring collection with lots of light and convertible fabrics, ease and sophistication, their first denim and their first logo.
They held their exhibition at the Phillips Auction House, a place where “creativity meets commerce and art is assessed at a level of value,” as they put it. And for a bit of fun, they’re taking part, having created their first mark, or logo – an original work painted on paper which is being auctioned by Phillips alongside works by Ellsworth Kelly and Agnes Martin. (Bidding starts at $10,000.)
They spent two years working on the subtle brand, made up of two “P”s joined together to form an “S”, and it lived throughout the collection in the form of gold details on moccasins, a belt buckle, relief on bags and jacquard on sweaters. .
In another concession to commerce, they reworked their hit bag, the PS1, into a wallet over a crossbody, belt bag and squishy style, and presented it on the catwalk for the first time. And they introduced PS denim, made in California, with cool styles that are almost completely faded and logo buttons on the front, of course.
They brought in Los Angeles singer Natalie Mering of Weyes Blood to open the show, before heading to Madison Square Garden to perform on Saturday night. “Her music is slightly Joan-y and Mary Carpenter-y. We started making costumes for his tour, and that’s how we came together,” McCollough said. “She represents intellect, strength and soul,” Hernandez added of their main client.
Overall, they continued their wardrobe-building mission, starting with the very first look, a crisp and chic white blazer, v-neck T-shirt, and navy moleskin pants that was a casual spring version of a suit.
He set the tone for the casual, utilitarian collection, full of refined everyday pieces, like an airy white poplin shirt with a drawstring hem, mesh T-shirts, jeans and leather pants.
A pair of weightless ruched jersey dresses in black and red hugged the body and crocheted ribbon tube dresses demonstrated the duo’s love of crafts.
A floaty skirt with embroidery of sheer sea-green plastic shards, tied at the side with a delicate black ribbon, looked easy but special with a long-sleeved white tee and black flip-flops, 90s style. And Long sleeve sweater dresses can be worn conventionally, or as backless dresses with the head pulled up to the neck hole and the sleeves tied around the shoulders.
As Hernandez explains: “It’s about how to make this simple thing understandable but conceptual. » Aka interesting – that’s the secret.