Proenza Schouler Redefines Freedom

That might be all the change we need


It would have been remiss to overlook the thick fishnet stockings that cloaked the legs of women (and in an instance on Friday, one man) attending shows this week. Some were worn over thicker tights, others just over bare skin. It’s hard to tell whether every pair’s place de naissance was Proenza Schouler’s Fall/Winter 2015 runway but the idea was certainly theirs.

For the past two runway seasons, it has felt a little like all of the ideas have been theirs. If critics have been yelling, “Throw me a fad,” Proenza Schouler has been a particularly strong wolf, brave enough to comply, knocking out two box office collections that have become so ubiquitous, you might even argue they’ve become parodies of themselves.

But designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez are smart. They could have pulled 101 tricks out of their sleeves for last night’s collection — such is the creative genius of a fertile mind with the ability to execute. But instead, what we read was a far more subdued take on the next six months: wide leg trousers — the only detail that allowed free room to move about the cabin — accompanied by bonded knits, skirts and thin layers of shirt.

There were fastened thigh-length vests and coats. And even the boots, some really long, featured an element of bonding. Beyond the great shearling collars and one yellow ankle-length dress that has potential to explode much the same way last year’s feathers did, there was a selection of turtlenecks that looked like they’d been wrapped up in very expensive, very extravagant thin-ply toilet paper. This particular mummy effect tightened the last nail in the coffin (pun extremely intended) to indicate that at Proenza Schouler — and that means also in New York — we’re talking about freedom in a different way now.

Why be so literal about it, anyway? If there’s one topic on everyone’s mind this week it’s how desperately we’re in pursuit of change. Maybe all that change will take is just a little bit of redefining the boundaries we already know.

Photographs via Vogue Runway and; feature collage by Emily Zirimis; collage background pattern via Pietro Mazza.


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