Monday, June 14, 2021

Proenza Schouler show celebrates New York and protests


Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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Designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez walk the runway for the Proenza Schouler show at New York Fashion Week on February 13, 2017 in New York.
Angela Weiss / AFP

The US womenswear label Proenza Schouler channeled the energy of New York and its recent political protests at its final runway show in the Big Apple on Monday before relocating to Paris.

“For us it was a celebration of everything we love about New York. It was our idea of New York really, the energy,” said Lazaro Hernandez, who co-founded the label with fellow Parsons School of Design classmate Jack McCollough.

Much admired by critics and edgy fashionistas, they got a strong send off from the likes of Calvin Klein’s new creative director Raf Simons, British model Alexa Chung and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, guests of honor.

Hernandez said the inspiration for fall/winter 2017 was “the energy that New York has had the last few weeks” and protests that have swept the city in opposition to Republican President Donald Trump.

“It has been really inspiring to us: people getting together and standing up for what they believe in,” Hernandez told reporters backstage after the show in a Greenwich Village loft on fashion week’s day five.

“It’s not a time for being in your bathrobe and slippers at home,” he said. “You stand for what you believe in and you say what you believe in and you fight for the things that you want, the things that are right.”

The result was a collection that “almost” had “that trash bag kind of feeling — asymmetry is definitely a thing,” McCollough said.

There were column dresses, silver metallic pants, leather jackets, shearling lined coats and flat shoes — practical attire in some respects going out to protest. Colors were scarlet, hot pink, black and white.

There were asymmetric sleeves, cut-outs and detailing, graffiti prints, latex coverings and tunics, and long belts studded with eyelets: very urban.

Proenza Schouler will next show in Paris following an exodus of other labels that have already abandoned New York this season for the balmier climes of Los Angeles or the greater global exposure of the French capital.

They intend to show earlier each season, in July and January rather than September and February in New York, and are due to launch a fragrance next year in collaboration with L’Oreal Luxe.

But they are not leaving for good. “It’s not permanent, we will come back,” Hernandez said. “These days nothing is permanent.”

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