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Proenza Schouler Womenswear A/W09

There was nothing humble or casual about this clever collection inspired by the 'home'.

PhotographyMark ReayTextSusie Lau

Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez own an organic farm in Great Barrington, Massachusetts and yet despite all signs pointing to this being an inspiration; the shoes inlaid with thick tapestry carpet and chunky with unvarnished wood, tweeds in all different shades worked into coats and silk velvet devore that would look right at home at shabby chic B&Bs, there still was an undeniable coolness to their A/W 09 collection. Inspired by the home, they worked tactibility into round and big shouldered coats and jackets, starting off a slow striptease where the layers would reduce down into metallic high-necked dresses resembling sportscar interiors and then finally dresses pulled at the shoulders, begging to be touched due to the play between sheer chiffon and nubby velvet in a jagged fashion.

Dazed Digital: You've already said that the home was the inspiration - where did that idea spring from?
Jack McCollough + Lazaro Hernandez: It comes from going up north to the country a lot lately. We have a farm up in the country and we're there every weekend so we're exploring nature and getting back in touch with ourselves. We're sort of so disconnected with everything now as we've lived in the city for 12 years now so we're kind of removed a little bit.

DD: Do you think that 'home' mentality has something to do with the fact we're entering this bleak period where you can no longer be ostentatious?
JM + LH: Yeah definitely. It's about a retreat. It's not about the loudness of the city.  It's about being quiet and being less flash.

DD: Was that also the intention with the fabrics?
JM + LH: Yeah, with the tweeds and the velvets it was definitely about luxurious textures and making them tactile.

DD: Talk about the quilted dresses that almost look like car bodies/interiors...
JM + LH: We've always incorporated some sort of quilting into our collections so this time we worked that in with similar fabrics but working with new shapes.

DD: Do you think that your aesthetic has changed over the seasons?
JM + LH: No, I think we're always about the contradition between body conscious versus not so this time we had big shoulders playing off with tight dresses - it's always that dichotomy.

DD: Finally, the bags have gained a bit of a cult following over the past year - what was the intention with the bags this season?
JM + LH: This bag (the clutch) was a bit of a showbag as we have just launched the PS1 which we didn't want to be season specific. This bag was more of a showbag - each pattern piece has it's own dye and the dye heats up so that it's all melted together giving it an organic quality.