Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough with Raquel Zimmermann
Proenza Schouler designers Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough eschewed the runway for their 2010 pre-collection, instead choosing an avant-garde art installation to show off their latest clothes, shoes and accessories. At Florence's Pitti W, three of the designers' favourite contemporary artists - Kalup Linzy, Haim Steinbach and Kembra Pfahler - helped with the display.
Steinbach was in charge of an accessory installation, which (naturally) also included a metal bed frame, dog toys and plastic onions. Linzy showed two music videas, which featured cameos from Liya Kebede and Chloe Sevigny. Pfahler gathered up go-go girls wearing Proenza, and he (wearing a bustier from the brand and thigh-high boots) sang his heart out with his bottom out. Hernandez couldn't keep a straight face.
Style.com, who secured an exclusive video preview of the collection (with NSFW lyrics, sorry), found out a bit more about the pre-collection show.
This is your first time showing a collection in Europe. What made you decide to debut with a multimedia extravaganza?
Lazaro Hernandez: When the Pitti people asked us to show the pre-collection, we were a little skeptical at first. I mean, pre-collections are sales-driven—
Jack McCollough: Not the most fantastic, editorial thing.
LH: Which is great, because that allows us to be more directional on the runway. But we felt like, just showing the pre-collection clothes would be pretty underwhelming. We needed to up the ante.
JM: Especially because this is the first time we're showing in Europe. It's not like we're unknown over there, but Pitti has a different reach. And it would kind of suck if people walked away from our presentation like, yawn.
LH: And we've always been interested in art, so …
How did you choose the artists?
JM: Well, right off the bat, we went to Yvonne Force Villareal and the Art Production Fund and we said, we want artists.
LH: It was a brainstorming process. We were looking for artists whose work relates to what we do, in some way, and obviously, we wanted to collaborate with people who are interested in working with product. Because not every artist is into that. So we wound up with this list of maybe 15 artists that we whittled down to Kembra, Haim and Kalup.
JM: We liked their proposals, and we liked the fact they all bring something completely different — different mediums, different sensibilities. It's been interesting, trying to put all the pieces together.
LH: The overarching thing was that we wanted the presentation to be really American. And to put across some of that "American" diversity. I mean, Kalup's from central Florida; Kembra's very New York, old punk, but also has a California-y vibe, like, her dad was a big-wave surfer; and Haim's more like that minimalist, American '70s kind of artist. And it's kind of like, these different aspects of American culture come together —
JM: And make us.
For the full interview, visit Style.com.