Fall Won’t Be Dreary for Proenza Schouler

The boys behind Proenza Schouler decided to go rogue this season, presenting a collection full of bright prints and colors, rather than the sedate monochromatic looks seen on many runways this season.

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Energy. Abstraction. Humor. Color. Instinct. Spontaneous. Fast.

That was how Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez described the inspiration behind their most recent Proenza Schouler collection.

The duo refused to let the season dictate their designs—thankfully, they avoided the sad, monochromatic looks seen on the majority of the New York runways. Instead, the Proenza Fall/Winter 2014 pieces, which paraded down the runway to Missy Elliott’s “Work It,” were jam-packed with prints and colors in the brand’s usual playful, technical cuts, emphasizing the young duo’s (McCollough and Hernandez are both 34) sophisticated design.

McCollough and Hernandez, who normally sketch with paper and pencil, pushed themselves this season by utilizing colored pencils. They also met with sculptor Ron Nagle, best known for abstraction.

“After all that black and white and neutral stuff,” Hernandez said of seasons past, “we wanted to have some energy and color and fun this time.”

And it was clear the brand was exploring its creative boundaries. Nearly all of the 35 looks were comprised of some variety of geometric shaping, color-blocking, wool jacquard that resembled insulation, and architectural patterning, be it zebra stripes or wood grains. There was a vibrant blue blazer—nipped at the waist and with ballooning sleeves—layered atop a glistening, midnight blue turtleneck dress; an orange and black, almost giraffe-like jacket was mixed with a yellow-and-black speckled top and a tan and black, grainy mini-skirt; and the final look, a sleek black and metallic frock with a cutout at the midriff, was the perfect end to an electrifying presentation.

The collection really doesn’t need a laundry list of adjectives to describe itself. It can be summed up in one word: cool.