Proenza Schouler S/S 2016
Proenza Schouler S/S 2016

As boring as I found NYFW last season, this week has been remarkably worse. Not only have we sat through a series of totally mind-numbing fashion, but many days we’ve had to wait until the last shows, which do well to start before 9PM, well after my mind has shut down from all the insanity, to find anything worth talking about. Proenza Schouler was yet another example of that type of scheduling. I feel bad when I watch a show and have to mentally slap myself to stay awake. I would much rather have seen this at 1o in the morning. I would have been much more receptive.

This is the second collection we’ve seen this week with a distinct Spanish influence, the other being Peter Copping’s Oscar de la Renta set. Copping took a much more subtle approach, though, and subtle never has been something designers Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCullough have applied to their fashion for Proenza Schouler. So, there were copious black bows with extended ribbons and little fuzzy om-pom balls adorning everything, whether it made sense to have them there or not. The boys went a bit over the top on some of the decorative touches. While I imagine those will be pared back a bit in production, at least the movement kept things interesting.

Where this collection really excels is in some of the more innovating details. Take closures, for example. By and large, there are no closures, at least none that are obviously visible. Instead, ribbon is run through grommets and tied with bows. Feathers with rods shot through the quills made of one of the more interesting mesh patterns I’ve ever seen. New-age tech fabrics applied in other mesh pieces were equally impressive. Mesh has made a lot of progress this season and the Proenza duo  uses it well.

Midi dresses, an excessive amount of bare shoulders, ruffles, and cut-outs are exactly new, but they made a good showing and worked especially well with the fabrics chosen. Granted, this is a more artistic presentation than what one is likely to see in stores, but where these pieces are going makes a lot of sense and is one of the few times where we can actually begin to get excited about fashion for next spring.

When it comes to runway diversity, about a quarter of the models were non-caucasian, but we’ll give the guys an extra point for prominent placement and styling. While we’d like to see twice as many ethnic models, we’ll still give the boys a five on a scale of ten.

As we move into the final day of NYFW, we can’t say this has even been a mediocre season. Fortunately, designers such as Hernandez and McCullough have the ambition to push things forward. We can only hope everyone else tries to keep up.

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