NEW YORK – (AP) – Sailboats billowed by on the Hudson River and the setting sun sparkled on the water as Proenza Schouler made a return to personal fashion shows set against the spectacular backdrop of New York’s busiest waterfront, Little Island.
Designers Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough were so excited about the Wednesday show, held in perfect late summer weather, that they shared a high-five and a kiss when they saw the water at their arch in the park’s new amphitheater ran – certainly one of the best views in town.
The show, which featured Vice President Ella Emhoff’s stepdaughter – who also appeared on the label’s February digital show – was precisely tuned for sunset at 7:15 p.m. and celebrates a return not only to city life, but also to ideas of travel and adventure.
“We wanted to capture this newfound freedom that we sometimes still have a little fragile,” said McCollough in a backstage interview after the show.
Hernandez noted that the two designers came up with the idea during their own travels, which began in April after almost a year in lockdown. They visited islands in both Hawaii and the Mediterranean, he said.
“This is life, this is life, that’s what we all want to do,” he said of the show’s ethos. “Just this idea of expedition and travel and exploration. We do that as humans – we want to learn more. “
The clothes were a mix of functional black and bold yellow, red, and orange. The brilliant colors, according to the designers, should suggest “a psychological tonic for the recent past” as well as a metaphorical change of page to a new chapter. In particular, three brightly colored dresses made of gauze jersey indicated “a life that is free to step out again,” wrote the duo in their show notes.
Fringes on a number of items of clothing are “a celebration of the handmade,” they said. Often times flat and comfortable, shoes realized that “the reality of comfort is paramount today”.
Emhoff, Vice President Kamala Harris’s stepdaughter, wore a poncho-like black coat and her hair was tied in a single braid. The model designer, who finished her art studies at the Parsons School of Design in May, also appeared in the label’s February collection, presented as a digital film.
Perched on a series of pillars in the shape of tulips, the 1.5-acre Little Island Park opened in May and is a gem in the larger Hudson River Park. McCollough noted that with each fashion week “it has become increasingly difficult to find new venues that have never been used before.”
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