Proenza Schouler’s big return to New York: an exclusive look at the Spring

Proenza Schouler’s big return to New York: an exclusive look at the Spring/Summer 2022 collection

Designers Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough moved from Paris to New York and return with a sleek aesthetic

focused on collaboration and inclusivity. Vogue caught up with the designers during fittings ahead of

their New York show for an exclusive look at their spring/summer 2022 collection. Alastair Nicol

September is here, and with it, back to school. The famous return of the summer vacations, synonymous

with optimism, aspiration, and renewal. After presenting their last two collections in Paris, it is in

this spirit of change that designers Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough, partners in life as well as

in work, decided to bring back this fall the ultra-trendy American brand Proenza Schouler on the New

York Fashion Week calendar. The restraint shown by the designers – who count actresses Chloë Sevigny

and Kate Bosworth among their fans – in their spring/summer 2022 collection may surprise guests during

Monday’s presentation. As Vogue discovered during a visit to the designers’ Manhattan studio days before

the show, their departure from the French capital is marked by a clean aesthetic that emphasizes collaboration

and inclusiveness. “This collection has two sources of inspiration,” Hernandez explains when we catch

up with him during fittings. “The first is obvious: as we’re moving back to New York, we wanted to go

back to our roots, and really tap into the city, our experiences here, our world, our friends, and our

creative team.” From that world, artists Olympia Scarry and Bunny Rogers are playing an active role this

season, trading the front row for the runway to showcase looks from the collection. Longtime collaborator

Ashley Brokaw, the casting director for all Prada and Miu Miu campaigns for the past six years, selected

Amber Valletta (who was featured in the brand’s campaign for the fall/winter 2022 collection) and Gemma

Ward – the two faces of fashion in the 1990s and 2000s, respectively. “It’s a real mix of girls, a broad

and inclusive range that represents today’s America well,” McCollough adds.

The second inspiration was a desire to change course in terms of fabrics and materials. During their “Paris chapter,”

as they call it, their work focused hugely on French savoir-faire: feathers, ruffles, and lace dominating their

spring/summer 2022 collection, and macramé being ultra-present during the fall/winter 2022 show. “We were working

a lot on the technical aspect of it, to compete with Dior or Chanel who were also presenting [in Paris],” Hernandez

explains. “[This season], we didn’t want to rely on that anymore, and the creative challenge was to strip everything

back.” “It’s all about modest materials,” McCollough continues as we head to the styling boards. “The whole collection

is made of cotton and denim, with a tiny bit of leather and embellishments.” On the boards, models can be seen

wearing deconstructed blazers with oversized shirts, denim dresses in various colors with dungaree straps, and

baggy leather boots tightened at the ankle. Worthy of the serene minimalism of an Agnes Martin painting, these

clothes are made for the avant-garde woman of the 21st century. Just as they relied on the expertise of artisans

for their Paris collections, for this spring/summer 2022 collection the designers worked with denim specialists

in Los Angeles to test different treatments. “For each collection, we collaborate with experts with unique skills

from around the world,” Hernandez says. “We use techniques that only denim specialists know, but modify them

for high fashion. They have never made pieces like this before.”

Alastair Nicol

Alastair Nicol

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