27 year old Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, the duo behind the Proenza Shouler label, have become bona fide editorial darlings and have cultivated a loyal customer base with collections season after season that uphold the idea of young couture. Ignoring seasonal trends as they seemingly do, they instead go where their instincts take them, and so far, they have not been wrong. In fact, they really got it right and hit a perfect balance this season at a time when so many others tried too hard, or fell flat. It looked elegant yet youthful, sporty yet dressed up, sophisticated yet playful. And it looked modern, wearable and relevant. And they have developed a recognizable signature.
“The return to a sharper, cleaner line. Modernist art is a starting point with works by Rothko and Twombly”, is the way they summed up fall 2006. The silhouette was marked by a pared down and restrained silhouette that featured narrow skirts and dresses falling above the knee, balanced by thick opaque hose and black leather booties, or skinny long black pants shown beneath narrow jackets, there was only one long gown- a black satin draped column that had the trompe l’oeil effect of being a two piece. The only hint of volume was found in several jackets or short coats that were slightly a lined or tent shaped. Surface interest came from detailed couture like workmanship, fabric mixes, trims, molded seams, embroidery, and the use of zippers. Working in a rich color palette of magenta, purple, moss green, and black, colors were often mixed together for graphic color blocking. There was one print- a black and white geometric squiggle pattern. Fabrics included velvet, pony skin, leather, and metallic lace, often used in combination.
Standouts include the ¾ length color block coat in green ponyskin trimmed in black, decorated with oversized purple pockets and purple bands, worn over a seamed black jersey short narrow dress; a purple velvet narrow collarless dress whose ‘design’ came from the thick black geometric seaming; a black metallic lace short wide sleeved coat dress ‘trimmed’ with bands of metallic lace in ivory and black; a cropped purple wool felt jacket banded in magenta and piped and banded in contrasting purple and black, worn over a black and white knit squiggle print short skirt.