Tuesday 23rd January

| BY Natalie Dembinska

Proenza Schouler: Ready-to-Wear AW18

And so to their second outing in Paris. A bohemian rhapsody in deep, rich earthy colours. It was a Proenza Schouler tribe in lush maxi coats and talismans, marching to ethereal, hypnotic techno music. Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough have been trying to figure out who they are and apparently the way to the soul is through creating your first fragrance. They decided on ‘Arizona’ because it’s seemingly quite liberating, a freeing state of mind. Although New York has always been at the heart of what they do, perhaps all that they discovered in the desert had influence here, cleverly intertwined with the Parisian craftsmanship that brought Proenza Schouler to show in the city during Couture last July.

It felt somehow ancient, tapping into distant cultures, with a sense of knowingness and a pioneering strength that is, after all, what America is all about. There was no time for pure escapism here; this was a serious collection for serious women. The Proenza Schouler duo are instinctive designers, in tune with the present, so this was assured and polished and had strength in its stature. More subtle and elevated than last season. Although the clothes were grounded, heavy with lots of leather, there was a sweeping, swaggering free-spirit to it all with a 1970’s bohemian vibe, chocolate brown, burnt orange, folk influence. Tiger print coats, shearling edging and great oversized bags were the guts of the collection. You get the picture. Now go bask in all that Proenza power.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans