It is not incomprehensible experimental craft; it is not cultural messaging. It isn't a protest. And while there may be many, many reasons to march and boycott right now, they are going to have to pace themselves; otherwise, they will keel over from emotional exhaustion. So, perhaps, in addition to creating terrific fashion, the designers of Proenza Schouler also offered a bit of a respite.
Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez sent out a fall 2017 collection Monday afternoon that included car coats with giant shearling collars; shiny, furry overcoats like something out of '70s hipster film; oversized blazers with monogrammed streamers; silver trousers; dresses lacquered with sequins; dresses with insets that looked like leather lace; rock 'n' roll shoes; metallic satchels; and bracelets coiled around the forearm like iron snakes.
It all hung together because it was a fashion story told using a vocabulary that the designers have developed over the course of their career. It all looked like what one might expect from Proenza Schouler, but at the same time it was a pleasant surprise. That's not an easy feat. And sometimes observers fail to realize just how difficult the fashion industry is. Could you reinvent yourself every few months while remaining true to who it is you believe yourself to be?
These are clothes that are readily wearable but also distinct. They transport you just a little bit. Maybe make you smile. Is it not dignified, democratic or intellectual to say that? That merchandise can bring joy? Well, why else do you assemble a dress as if it's a giant jigsaw puzzle and then cover the whole thing in sequins? Joy is the point.
The clothes are expensive, but so are a lot of things. The clothes are not cut for everyone. So yes, designers should work to broaden their size range. But fashion is also easy to pick on when some folks climb up on their high horse and begin preaching about what matters and what does not. (Shall we have a debate about what golf contributes to the universe?)
Proenza Schouler committed to fashion - the creativity, the surprise, the pleasure. Let's pause for a moment and just take it in.