Proenza Schouler Spring 2023 Fashion Show Review
Spring 2023: Not a clash of cultures, but a cultural collaboration
By Constance CR White
Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler don’t want to talk about having twenty years in the business. “Actually, we’re not talking about that.” Says McCollough. We are not birthday people.
It suits us. But we still want to note it. Boys are no longer boys. Not that they ever were when they burst onto the fashion scene, giving us a healthy dose of exuberance. They are men now and their creations show it, which we can be proud of. Spoken or not.
They put up a hot caramba of a show. He oscillated between haughty sophistication and playful sexuality.
It was sophisticated in its restrained palette of black and white and rich fabrications like leather which they all used to great effect in languid dresses and tailored coats and jackets.
They’ve looked back on some of their favorite hits and revamped them for 2023. Piped sleeves in contrasting fabrics and corset-style bodices are back.
Two ideas centered the collection. The first was a synthesis of Latin and Anglo-Saxon inspirations. “We never really delved into my cultural history,” Hernandez said after the show. “And my dad is getting older and he’s writing poetry and it’s beautiful.” Hernandez was born in Miami to parents who came from Cuba to America. He has visited the country “millions of times”, he says.
Dresses that hugged dangerous curves and then tapered to a seductive end were reminiscent of legendary Cuban singer Celia Cruz and flamenco dancers. The sleeves and hems had indecent amounts of ruffles. A crocheted dress has been handcrafted by Bolivian artisans, weaving the metal into the yarn for a shimmering effect.
A white coat was dotted with tiny dangling chains, the designers playing with the concept of “falling water”, they said. Before the first model descended the track, a video projected on the walls of the room simulated a rushing waterfall falling to the ground.
Camilla Nickerson’s styling with Guido Palau and Diane Kendal on hair and makeup respectively, worked its magic. The sock look in Nickerson’s signature sandal has been updated in chunky platform mule designs.
Something energetic, sensual. This is something that is hard to find these days. We are looking for him.
Nothing was supposed to be too serious. Shades of greens, yellows and blues accentuated the cheerfulness. “We wanted something happy,” McCollough said. “Something with energy, sensuality. This is something that is hard to find these days. We are looking for him.
During a long trip to Europe last summer, they began to feel the need to make a statement about letting go. “It feels good to have fun again,” Hernandez said. “Seeing friends, having a drink, falling in love. That’s what it’s really about. Celebrating people, cultures and genders. All.”