If the definition of ‘normcore’ is the elevation of unpretentious, ordinary, unremarkable clothes, then a Proenza Schouler collection is the polar opposite.
Nothing in the collection of Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez is even faintly ordinary. Each outfit is a bold statement, with car-wash panels falling where a plain collar might be and surfaces rich and thick with invention.
Backstage at the Whitney Museum, now moving downtown, the designers explained their artistic, cultural, and technical influences.
They had researched the mid-20th-century artistic movement and the pieced-together work of sculptor Robert Morris in particular. “They are all slashes, it has to feel spontaneous and organic,” Lazaro said of cut-away collars and bodices; while his co-creator waxed lyrical over needle punching and about the effect of 30,000 sequins, inverted sideways.
Those minuscule crystals brought a sparkling glow to evening wear and were just one example of how the designers are pushing fashion forward towards art and craft.
The finale pieces with embroidery densely woven on to chiffon to give it a hefty solidarity were almost tribal in effect: team Proenza against the minimalistic and the mundane.