Proenza Schouler continued their reign over intellectual fashion in the New York circuit. Leather was back again, in an amorphous style that loaned itself to many transformations. It moved from jacket to skirt, perforated and patched, to clutch to boot in stiff shiny waves. After a while you forgot you were seeing leather, you were seeing past it into shapes and colors, and, once those sunk in, to photographic prints. Being visual people, or having eyes trained to decode pictures into images and those images into meaning, one sought to decipher the print riddle but came to a wall. Snapshot images of random succulents, beaches, forests and crowds became obliterated in panelled dresses by cut and embellishment with rivets and metal eyelets, until those too began to lose meaning and blend into texture. Then you're just looking at a dress, stripped of all but its inherent meaning, lying under layers of incidental information. A clean base from which to build back up or get to know better from the inside.
Dazed Digital: How did you guys start this collection?
Lazaro Hernandez: We were interested in the idea of collage and the idea of randomness and Tumblr. Those are words we were throwing around all season.
DD: What are the images you're using in the prints?
Jack: McCollough: Those images just kind of came from us browsing on the internet. They don't necessarily even have any meaning to us. We liked more the idea of finding these images we could kind of cut up and either patchwork together or embroider on top of or print onto leather and weave black leather through them so they become abstracted and a little less about the subject matter and more about the colours and the mood and the feeling.
Lazaro Hernandez: It was just a compositional element. We were looking at some Gerhard Richter stuff, specifically his painted photographs. It was cool how he used those photographs, they were just kind of a compositional element at the end of the day. The photographs don't mean anything; how banal they are is interesting. They weren't some souped up fancy digital things, it was just a picture.
DD: What about leather are you attracted to?
Jack McCollough: The first half of the show is pretty much all leather. We're really attracted to the material, but usually it's considered more of a Fall material. We wanted to take leather and figure out ways to make it feel light and make it feel like a springtime material. We treated it in a couple different ways; we bonded it to nappa skin in the back and had it all laser cut by machines and hand crocheted in Madagascar. We like the technological side of the laser cutting machines but then the handicraft element of it being stitched together and knitted together by hand.
Lazaro Hernandez: We didn't want to finish any clothes with facings or linings or anything, so leather allowed us to cut things completely raw, and just use them as is.