A New York Moment. Proenza Schouler AW23

What a New York moment. Chloe Sevigny opened the autumn-winter 2023 Proenza Schouler show. She’s worn Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez’s clothes since the beginning, even a couple of times to Met Gala; they were New York ingenues together 20 years ago. But this wasn’t an anniversary show, the designers insisted. They said they’ve been taking stock, thinking about the friends and customers they’ve made over two decades. “This is our most personal collection yet,” said McCollough. “It was less revolving around a theme, more looking at the actual women in our lives: What is it they want?” Like Sevigny and Olympia Scarry, who walked later a few looks later, the women in McCollough and Hernandez’s lives have grown up, and grown out of some of the Proenza Schoulerisms they’ve honed over the years. Prints were kept to a minimum here. The ones that did turn up were remnants from past collections, and only appeared as the linings of dresses, visible through a side-slit in the midi-length skirt, or on straps pulled off the shoulders and left to peplum at the waist. There was no room for ruffles or bows, either. The only real embellishment they used was white pom pom fringe on a black velvet dress, but it was mostly obscured by the charcoal wool skirt that their stylist Camilla Nickerson, another friend they mentioned by name, layered over it. Other signatures stayed in the picture, but in updated versions. A pair of narrowly cut velvet shirt dresses made with dyed ice cubes that dripped their deep colors from neck to hem were evocative of their best-selling velvet tie-dye dresses of 2018, only subtler, more adult. The spongy, stretchy evening numbers with the sequins “baked in” were elaborations of simpler t-shirt dresses from a couple of pre-collections ago. In the studio Hernandez said, “it’s about using our ingredients and not throwing it all out and starting from scratch every season.” If you looked closely you could see that the short sleeves were differently shaped. Other knits were constructed in a similarly askew way; they twisted across the body, elevating them out of the ordinary. Over sounds by the musician Arca, Sevigny’s voice was on the soundtrack, reading “diary entries” written by the author Ottessa Moshfegh, with whom they’ve collaborated before, “kind of like an inner monologue.” Clothes-wise, the idea was to make an art of the everyday. By adding vertical zippers to the back of blazers that flashed a hint of skin but also enhanced ease of movement, by whipping up a hoodie in the softest, plushest knit, and by cutting “jeans” in a glossy gold leather, a nod to Helmut Lang, a few of whom’s runway looks were surely pinned to the mood board along with photos of their Sevigny et al.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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