Backstage after the Proenza Schouler show, designer Lazaro Hernandez seemed a bit surprised that the general consensus was that the collection got its starting point in Spain.
“It wasn’t Spain. People keep saying that,” he said with a bemused smile on his face. “I’m Latin and we wanted to explore my personal history, and we have never done that before.”
If delving into their heritage can produce collections like the one that Hernandez and his design partner Jack McCollough presented on Wednesday night then they need to keep digging, because they have got a gold mine waiting for them. For this show was one of the most innovative, daring, and demanding collections to come out of New York Fashion Week.
The audience can be forgiven for thinking that this line up had Spanish roots. The almost exclusively red, white, and black color palette was the backdrop to an abundance of Flamingo-esque ruffled hemlines, polka dot prints, and pom-pom embellishments. The models even had their hair pulled back with a central part, a move that reinforced the belief in a Spanish connection.
As modern and original as this line up was that didn’t stop it from being sensual, even sexy. The shoulders became the erogenous zone of choice for the duo. They crafted a number of their tops so the garment curved in sharply at the chest to leave the shoulders totally exposed. The addition of a thick black ribbon, which gave the appearance of pulling the fabric taut across the collarbone, only accentuated the idea that – with a simple tug on the tie, the whole piece would come wantonly undone.
This sense of exposure continued into some semi-transparent mesh-like asymmetrical dresses. As well as a trio of looks that notably created a graphic chain link fence motif out of individual feathers, layered up for a more three-dimensional appearance.
Hernandez said that he and McCollough wanted to convey a sense of the peeling away of layers with this collection, of something unraveling or abandoned. But he can rest assured that no one is going to be walking away from this collection.