If you aren’t yet familiar with the names Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez well, quite frankly, shame on you.
This couple – in and out of the studio – are the designers and the co-founders of the freshest fashion power brand of the moment, Proenza Schouler. With their radical and experimental mix of acid and neon colours married to precise, military silhouettes they are, as Interview magazine puts it, “creating a fully articulated, utterly unexpected sense of style for the young, urban 21st century woman.”
Despite having been on the scene for quite some time, it seems that the label is only now receiving the adoration it deserves. With one Vogue cover behind them and that Kristen Stewart red carpet ensemble, things are going from strength to strength.
Having skirted the fringes of fashion consciousness for a number of years it seems that Twilight mania has helped to firmly place the brand on the top of every fashionista’s wish list. When Kristen Stewart stepped on to the red carpet for the Twilight: New Moon premiere wearing a clashing print dress with electric yellow and blue stripes, a ripple of excitement spread through the crowd. Photographs soon appeared in every glossy magazine proving the dress was all anyone could talk about, thus ushering in a new era for the New York based designers.
But their love affair with the young actress did not stop there. Flash-forward a few years and the three of them are together again, this time collaborating for the February edition of Vogue. Miss Stewart is, according to the designers, the perfect example of who they see wearing their clothes. This edgy actress is not your typical lady. She is the personification of their designs, which take a ladylike theme, twist it, and turn it into something new with harder, bolder undertones.
The collections show that McCollough and Hernandez have a great understanding and passion for the finer details, coupled with great attention to detail in each product. The brand is all about developing their fabrics from scratch, developing the textiles behind their finished products and searching for the most effective methods for making them; their newest collection contains hand knotted fabric from Japan that has been individually dip-dyed. The care and intricate precision paid to each piece of the collection is then reflected back in the striking beauty and overall exquisiteness of the collection as a whole.
Travel inspires the designers like nothing else. In preparation for their Spring/Summer Collection the couple jetted off to India where they witnessed bright neon colour palettes, layering, length, and a whole lot of wrapping. They used these elements as inspiration, channelling them into their new designs and evolving the brand with a certain quirkiness. This cheeky duo certainly are masters at bringing abstract concepts together and juxtaposing ideas, making them work in harmony, producing something fun but wearable.
This concept of contrast can be seen from collection to collection, if one season they’ve used girly silhouettes they’ll react and contrast it with a collection that focuses on a stronger feminine polish; going from fragile, delicately sheerer fabrics to heavier more aggressive thicker ones. This constant battle between the differing sides of the feminine spectrum adds an element of real power to their designs. It keeps them fresh, injecting new life into each and every collection.
May their fashion reign long continue and global dominance ensue. Alas if only my student loan could cover the new PS1 bag… a girl can dream!
Celebrity PS lovers – Many a celebrity can be seen clambering over each other for Front Row seats to the Proenza Schouler shows. Amongst them are huge names such as Rihanna, Mary Kate Olsen, Liv Tyler, Selma Blair and of course their muse Chloe Sevigny to name but a few!
What can we expect from their next collection? Having jumped in the car and taken an impromptu road trip down to the South West of America the couple have become inspired by the Native American and Navajo cultures which influenced their designs for the future, so expect a lot of blanket-style bold prints with a strange, PS, original twist.