Sometimes pragmatism rocks. “These pre-collections link one collection to the next, and they bring back the ideas that were successful,” Lazaro Hernandez said, noting the undeniably merchy approach he and Jack McCollough take to the “pre’s” at Proenza Schouler. Left unsaid: Sometimes, merchy stomps its fringed woven leather boots all over mundane. That’s what happened here, resulting in a knockout collection.
Spring’s argyles and fringes turned into a treatise on mannish plaids and textured knits with a strong current of American classicism gone cool — and on luxury, an essential association as the designers look to expand globally. The lineup proved a deft take on sophistication, equal parts polish and cool. To the former point, the designers are feeling for covered-up versus revealing, and showed long, drink-of-water knits, loosely cut trousers and any number of beautifully tailored outerwear pieces. Despite a shot of color here or there, their preference was for chic grays and browns.
As for the accessories, those fringed boots and slides were made for walking with a soupçon of attitude. And meet the “Kent,” McCollough and Hernandez’s new, soft top-handle bag that comes in several versions, including ultra-tony croc. “There are two ways to grow a business, either accessories or a secondary line,” said McCollough. “We’re focusing on the accessories along with the ready-to-wear, and keeping it all on a high level.” High on luxury and fashion.