Proenza Schouler, starring Ella Emhoff, marvels in Parrish Art Museum
Finally, on the day when New York Fashion Week officially ended, it felt like the season had really just begun, with a subtly beautiful collection of fresh tailoring, attitude and grandeur by Proenza Schouler, starring the model of the moment, Ella Emhoff.
A collection shot at the Parrish Art Museum, in Watermill, Long Island; the perspicaciously chosen cast marching past its 615-feet-long neo brutalist concrete wall, or deep inside the barn-like art institution. At a pace that denoted these ladies were busy and on a mission.
Wearing clothes that reeked of authority and elegance throughout, climaxing with a perfectly draped black pantsuit with oversized flared pants and a cutaway single-button blazer worn by Emhoff. Her hair styled in micro ringlets, her face framed with intellectual round glasses, in her latest cool look since exploding to fashion fame at last month’s inauguration, when her stepmother Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first woman, first African-American and first Asian-American to become US vice president.
There was not one duff note in this collection; from the languid opening cashmere coats; spruce cutaway shirt-jackets; and ridiculously well draped asymmetrical skirts finished with contrasting straps.
While the Proenza Schouler duo of Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez also whipped up several taut wrapped jersey cocktails rouched to perfection.
Emhoff took three passages, most boldly in a dynamite Stasi leather spy coat, with broad belt and flap pockets; one many great coats, like an oaky plongé glove leather coat, with triple-stripe intarsia trim.
“Ella is a very smart girl, and a fine art major at our old school, Parsons. She is exactly the sort of girl we love to hang out with. Though not every model comes with the Secret Service in tow! For us, this change in administration is amazing. It’s a big new chapter in American history and we are very happy to be connected with it,” said Lazaro, in a pre-show preview zoom.
Added Jack: “Ella just signed with IMG, after she appeared in the jewelled Miu Miu coat at the inauguration She is exclusive for us this season, and is actually kind of a pro already. This is a moment about turning a new leaf in America, and this will be our first collection, which comes out in September, post pandemic.”
All captured in a sleek video shot by Daniel Shea, who shot the duo’s voyage-around-Manhattan lookbook last season.
“We shot this collection all over one weekend, which turned out to be the coldest day of the year. Mostly outside at 14 degrees! So, we had to bring the poor girls in and out every couple of minutes to warm up,” admitted Lazaro.
Like all great designers - which is what Jack and Lazaro have become – the heart of their best collections is all about cut and line.
“We wanted to cut attitude into the clothing and automatically give it a signature and gesture when you put it on,” explained Jack in a call to their home in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, where they have lived for seven years.
In the past, Proenza Schouler tended to style the attitude into the collection, this season they built into the patterns, and circular cutting. Showing off their techniques in multi-angle mini videos available on their website. Like favored afro-haired beauty Lineisy Montero looked stunning in one of several fab dresses. Hers was a single-shoulder-strap goddess dress in white, others dressed in negligee dresses in mixes of knit and silk.
“We wanted to cut on the weave so one side gathers off the shoulder. And to use a newer, sophisticated cutting technique to make for a longer and leaner silhouette,” explained Jack, before Lazaro added: “We also wanted to focus on eliminating waste and embroidery. Few buttons, no external pockets, flats shoes and slippers.”
Due to the pandemic, the duo spent the last two months working remotely. They have been unable to visit their supply factories in Italy in over year, but can rely on a great atelier in-house.
Yet this certainly did not restrain their ideas, all the way to the striking new high-heels in leather cut like socks and tied up. Arty, real and smart, just like the collection, and location.
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