NEW YORK, United States — Where does Proenza Schouler belong? After a few tumultuous years moving up market (showing during Paris couture) then down (basics label PSWL), designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez are settling into to their new reality: a new investor (Mudrick Capital, which specialises in distressed assets), a new chief executive (Kay Hong, who specialises in turnarounds), and a new attitude, brought by the duo themselves.
The first two collections under the new regime have been fairly low key for such a lightning-crash kind of a brand. Instead of “Kaboom!” it’s been more like, “Hey, we’re still here.”
Perhaps they’re taking the time trying to find their place in fashion’s new world order, where jeans and jumpers are the building blocks of a closet, not the little black dress.
“It’s a little less about this huge revolution every season,” Lazaro said backstage. “The last couple years especially, we’ve really been working on building a wardrobe.”
Their knits have always been good, and this season, the off-one-shoulder ribbed sweater dresses were twisted and tucked to fit the body just right. It was sexy, but in a calculated way, as is everything they do, from the metal collar holding together a handkerchief dress to the precise buttons placed just so down the side of a skirt. The short leather dresses, done in lipstick red and beige, hugged the body without tugging. There’s nothing garish about Proenza.
But this collection just didn’t crackle, something that would have been welcome at this down-and-dreary New York Fashion Week. Here’s to hoping the city’s darlings will be feeling ready to take a few more risks next season.