Proenza Schouler have well-earned their spot as the opening show of New York Fashion Week, having spent almost two decades establishing themselves as one of the city’s most exciting and consistent fashion names. For the Spring/Summer 2023 season, creative directors Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez doubled down on the intricacies that make their brand so great—presenting fashion forward silhouettes blended with a classic, muted colour palette and sumptuous materials and cuts.
There was a wink and nod to the brand’s early 2000s inception—think of it as Y2K Renaissance done the Proenza way—courtesy of bubble hem midi skirts and sweet shrunken cardigans. The latter were worn unbuttoned at the midriff and paired with low-rise skirts for maximum throwback effect, and modernised with chunky rubber sandals accessorised with knee socks. That, combined with the synthy, ethereal soundtrack by Venezuelan DJ Arca (who also appeared to perform at the beginning of the show), added an otherwordly feeling to the runway proceedings.
A palette of clean whites, greys, and navys was punctuated with fresh pops of chartreuse and mint, like the sleek white jumpsuit with oversized flare legs, which featured discrete lime detailing at the neckline and hems. Feminine elements, like the My Fair Lady-esque cream lace dresses, were undercut with more tactile fabrics like crochet and tassels. The latter fit neatly with the collection’s beauty look—slicked back hair and dewy makeup that evoked a summer evening spent on the wooden decks of some fabulous sea-bound yacht. It was a mood only further captured by the large digital waterfall that adorned the runway, a striking dichotomy to the location’s Beaux-Arts surrounding (the Manhattan location was once the site of a bank, back in the early 1900s).
Cuban-American Hernandez made a conscious effort to pay home to his Latin roots with this collection, be it the aforementioned bell bottoms on jumpsuits and trousers, the flamenco ruffles that appeared on flirty evening dresses (cue: polka dots and risqué side-split cutouts), or the trio of show-stopping gold looks that closed out the show. Bringing together a coterie of new-generation supermodels—Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Selena Forrest, and Vittoria Ceretti among them—the collection was a reminder that 19 years in, and Proenza Schouler are still a brand at the top of their game.