I’m sitting here watching the Proenza Schouler show, listening to the pre-show soundtrack that seems to infer outer space (is that a Wookie wailing?), watching the interesting styles coming down the runway set to Avante Guard piano and guitar music, and wondering silently if there is any way this collection was intended to be a salute to the late musician David Bowie. There seems to be an unmistakable “Major Tom” feel to the collection, or at least the way it is presented, but production on these pieces would have had to start long before Bowie passed away last month. There’s no mention of a connection in the designer’s notes, so perhaps Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCullough were just already thinking in terms of space and the future. Maybe. I’m just guessing.
Perhaps it is the sense of austerity driven by clean lines and sharp tailoring that leads one to think of the future. Set among the white walls of The Whitney Museum, with guests sitting on cubes covered in tin foil, the collection that is heavy on black and white combinations, straps and wrapped bandage looks, stainless steel washers and visible lacing is something that wouldn’t have been terribly out of place on a 1960s sci-fi set. The collection starts with a futuristic double-breasted coat (for the Captain?) with extremely wide bell bottom pants that remind me of sailors’ uniforms of WWII (current Navy uniforms are similar but not as wide as previous versions). The looks maintain a rather severe, hard-line, straight-gigged feel for much of the collection. Ribbed knits with contemporary designs seemed quite reminiscent of the tunic-based uniform a young Wesley Crusher wore on the Star Trek: Next Generation series.
There’s every chance I’m just a geek and finding science-fiction connections in a collection that wasn’t necessarily meant to have them. Still, there seems to be little question with all the straps and ties and patchwork and horizontal line prints and jumpers that may or may not be unisex that the guys are at least thinking of the future in some context. One interesting aspect is the fact that most the ensembles keeps the body completely covered from neck to foot. Dress hems run below the knee to mid-calf while boots and leggings reach high enough to underlap the skirts. Several of the outfits would likely accommodate quickly slipping into a space suit should it become necessary. Sleeves are long, most looks are fairly trim, and the shearling collars on the bomber jackets seem fairly reminiscent of a certain space pilot who had a large, hairy beast for a partner.
Granted, it’s late and the week has been long. We only have two shows to cover tomorrow. Maybe I’m just too tired. This could all be my imagination.
Or not. Take a look for yourself and see.