Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough held pre-fall appointments in their Manhattan shop last week for the first time in two years. “We’re a little green at this,” Hernandez said, laughing, as the presentation got under way, but all agreed it felt good to put Zoom previews in the past and see clothes and accessories in close-up.
Even in this workhorse season—pre-fall is their biggest of the year—the Proenza Schouler designers revel in the details. “These are urban clothes for intelligent women of today, like all our collections,” said Hernandez, “but there are frivolous elements.”
The frivolity came in the form of ostrich feathers trimming the hem of bike shorts and full-leg pants, and beaded crochet bisecting a bubble-hem, halter-neck dress. They also worked with animal print, a motif they’ve more or less avoided until now, thinking it too obvious. One pretty draped dress in white was built with a leopard underlayer visible at the cuffs, hem, and unbuttoned sleeves, like a game of peekaboo.
The intelligence and urbanity came via their exploration of silhouette. Pre-lockdown, their jackets were oversized, often with pronounced, masculine shoulders. Post-lockdown, their tailoring has grown narrower, partly out of instinct and partly as a result of client feedback. A bi-stretch crepe jacket buttons high and off-center, hugging the torso, and the matching pants are leggings-slim with zips at the back of the ankles to create kick-flare shapes. A tuxedo jacket worn with a shibori-treated turtleneck and big, fluid blue velvet pants has a swaggering ease.
Elsewhere they managed the neat feat of making a white shirtdress feel languid by cutting it loose and adding ruching to the hips. Two other dresses conjured a similar dressed-but-effortless mood for evening; an emerald green knit style was gathered with a jeweled brooch at the waist, and a white sequined column was belted in front with a dramatic, look-at-her cape in back.