Engaging in a game of verbal free-association to gauge their mood forfall, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez came up with words including“Energy,” “Abstraction,” “Humor,” “Color,” “Instinct,” “Spontaneous.”They printed them on press notes, and recited a few more backstagebefore their show. “It’s about having fun,” said Hernandez. “Andcreativity and energy and life.” The collection was all those things,plus a lot more, since clothes are not actually made of fun. The spreeof frenetic colors and patterns the designers unleashed was a product offertile imagination and incredible technical skill.

Hernandezand McCollough are fabric-focused, always pushing and testing. Here theynursed a major color and pattern infatuation fueled by doing sketchwork in color pencils and meeting sculptor Ron Nagle, known for hisacid-hued ceramics, at the Venice Biennale. Graphic combinations ofblack paired with orange, purple, turquoise, crimson and pink convergedin patterns reminiscent of vinyl records and the Flintstones. These camemashed up on sporty separates and single garments, such as precisepatchworks of leather and crepe on dresses.

There were alsotechnical lace and flock prints embroidered with bugle beads. A wooljacquard coat that looked nothing like wool jacquard opened the show.Woven in a mini pattern that brought to mind television static, fromafar it appeared to be some kind of bonded print. The fabric finish wasflat, matte, almost scubalike and accentuated by architectural curves: anipped waist and sleeves that were big at the shoulder tapered towardthe wrist. Fun fact: The pattern related back to the squishy lining — acarpet pad — of the hard copy show invitation. A deliberate departurefrom the calm of the designers'past two seasons, the clothes stillfell well within their stylistic jurisdiction. The modernist hourglassshape of a short, cobalt blue crepe skirt suit and a bouclé peplum topin an aqua-and-black scribble pattern related to their black-and-whitestudy in chic from fall 2013. And the finale dress, a curvy bra-top cutout under the bust with a flared skirt, circled back to the metallicbustiers of their first collection. The word that rushed to mind at theend of the show is one that at this point is almost synonymous withProenza Schouler: “cool.”

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