Tumblr Weaving

Tumblr Weaving

Proenza Schouler SS13 campaign photographed by David Sims

What's in a font?  Everything and nothing, depending on what sort of a person you are.  I happen to be the sort that analyses every curve, angle and readability of a letter, despite not being a typography expert (lord knows I've made some font fuck-ups during the lifetime of this blog).  Proenza Schouler's new logo, conceived by the brand's first art director Peter Miles definitely has much to analyse.  It is more direct and in yer' face.  It doesn't look as fussy.  It speaks to a younger audience and instills aspiration to buy into Proenza Schouler even if they can't quite afford it.  It was high time their logo reflected Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez's gradual change-up into a proper brand, one with specific direction and purpose and has become a trend barometer of where the season is going.

Miles' art direction decision to use found images as branding posters that were dotted around New York in September then neatly coincided with the citing of Tumblr as an inspiration point for their stonkingly brilliant SS13 collection.  Tumblr marketing peeps must have been rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of the design duo scrolling through the many mysterious streams of image consciousness that this micro-blogging platform houses.  Many critics deduced that McCollough and Hernandez were part of a "digital generation" of designers (is there a phrase more guff-inducing than anything prefixed with "digital").  That seems a tad simplistic.  Any designer with an iMac in their studio is likely to be doing bits of inspiration hunting on the internet, such is the way the motion of the Google search has been embedded into our lives.  What was really clever about the way McCollough and Hernadez were looking at Tumblr though was to make comment on the randomness of stumbling upon image after image.  The way instant juxtapositions are thrown up and they formed the basis for the textural and print-based glitches in the latter half of the show.  Together with the brand imagery that Proenza Schouler are now putting out and the Second Life-inspired videos that play in their Madison Avenue store, it's exciting to see a the duo building a brand that is being forged out of the haphazard way we see things in modern life.  

The first half of the collection is a clear brand building excercise, which will see the shop rails hanging with technical leather pieces, something that has been a feature in the duo's collections for a while.  Blocking python, alligator skin and hole-punched leather are bound together with pink sheared edges and visible stitching.  McCollough and Hernandez's occupation with craft always reaches new heights and they pummel a great deal of effort into ensuring that their craftsmenship is sleek, concealed and seemingly effortless.  What look like heat sensitive maps are transferred to complex knitwear, again contrasted with that punched leather lest anything was in danger of looking remotely twee.  Their abstract prints on chiffon buttoning and unbuttoning up their way into diaphanous dresses were also reworked Proenza Schouler staples.  















They could have gone on and on and made a show out of those accomplished pieces but the real statement revealed itself in the first of the photo print pieces.  Spliced panels of a beautiful sea view placed on the bias and blocked off against complimentary tones of leather, again with the stitching criss crossing its way across the body.  At this point, I think I was going "Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god…!" in my head.  No intelligent insight there other than sheer excitement over what was to come.  A glitched video freeze frame or a pattern resembling a deranged Google map was turned into the most detailed jacquard I'd ever seen.  Then the bias cut splicing continued.  Green and dense forests.  Crowds of people whose faces were blurred out.  A mass of holiday goers by the bluest of pools.  They were all jumping out at us in a Flickr cacophony that weren't related to each other.  Then McCollough and Hernandez introduced rows of teeny tiny black triangles (meticulously woven into the fabric, rather than printed on), metal rivets gradiating their way from the hem of a dress, clusters of neon pink and orange dots that also gradually peeter out when they reach the midriff.  When placed on top of the photos, they read like a highly visual interpretation of graphic pixels on a computer screen.  These dresses confronted and passed comment on the digital world that surrounds us.  Like their new logo, it was all vibrantly clear, easy to read and very much to the point (a phrase that has really underlined this season).  A short and staccato sentence that manages to say a lot.       


































Leave a comment

    2013-02-05 at 8:45 PM

    In love with the print, fantastic!!!

  2. Ann

    2013-02-05 at 9:34 PM

    You write so well Susie Bubble. Great photos too. The combination of mutiple textures and prints plus the little embellishments makes the collection look like a science-meets-fashion project. Ann x

  3. Thefashionguitar

    2013-02-05 at 9:40 PM

    This is one of those collections, and actually Proenza Schouler always does that, that makes you feel it is worth paying for. Unlike the feeling I get often with designer clothes… I mean, I get the quality, design, uniqueness thing, however, a Chanel lego clutch for around 5000 pounds, seriously.
    These designs looks amazing. Those patterns, seaming, color work. LOVE IT

  4. Caron

    2013-02-05 at 10:21 PM

    Beautiful details and vibrant, unexpected prints. This collection makes me excited for the summer!

  5. Valentine

    2013-02-05 at 10:23 PM

    Those pictures! They’re beautiful.
    I just couldn’t get enough of those strong vibrant colors.
    One of my favorite fashion shows.

  6. Rhoda Wong

    2013-02-05 at 11:32 PM

    i am obsessed with his prints!

  7. Straphalariolist

    2013-02-06 at 2:16 AM

    That’s fantastic. We love this blog.

  8. milex

    2013-02-06 at 2:47 AM

    My favourite designer at this moment

  9. Domenic Bartlett-Roylance

    2013-02-06 at 4:16 AM

    Totally would not know how to define PS.
    xx Domenic

  10. Sean

    2013-02-06 at 5:31 AM

    I liked the posters back in September as a guerilla marketing-esque tactic, but have to say the new direction for the campaign isn’t my favorite. I feel it looks like a collections round-up from the pages of Dazed or Novembre. The digital influence is too heavy-handed and feels detached from the brand in the same way Tumblr’s mash-up of images serves to decontextualize the content and send the viewer down a proverbial rabbit hole of imagery. It works online, but, as we all know, usually severs the viewer from the content creators because Tumblr users are pretty terrible at citing sources. In the same way, this campaign is intriguing, but doesn’t link back to Proenza necessarily…is that too overwrought an analysis? ha!

  11. susie_bubble

    2013-02-06 at 6:28 AM

    Yay! A meaty comment to reply back to…
    I get what you mean with the comparison to Dazed shoot aesthetic…
    However, I do think this campaign pairs up with the collection perfectly. They were specifically looking at that random mash-up element of Tumblr. It wasn’t even that they were glorifying or celebrating it. They took random images and placed them in juxtaposed situations in the clothes and so it is that the campaign imagery reflects that glitched-up decontextualised madness that platforms like Tumblr serve up.
    Also, what with the logo change, perhaps Proenza’s own identity and brand values are also changing… the NY Times article i linked to is helpful in understanding that the duo want to stand for something more specific and the new art direction is a step towards pin-pointing what exactly that is…

  12. susie_bubble

    2013-02-06 at 6:29 AM

    Yes I agree and I’m afraid this collection will be terribly expensive… still, I’d rather they push their design limits and have it prohibitively expensive than rest on their laurels…

  13. mellie

    2013-02-06 at 10:20 AM

    This is just wonderful, I love the strong response to fast, tacky and often unskilled ideas of layering and collaging often seen on Tumblr. Whilst that may come across as negative to most, I think it is wonderful that people are striving for another dimension on digital creativity. I love tumblr for this very reason- the idea of placing a layer or an image atop of another one (whether it compares, contrasts/contradicts).
    Thanks for sharing in detail Susie, I saw the Hanne Gaby look by Proenza as an example of the 2013 S/S trends on Style.com’s site and didn’t feel so attached to their labelling of “collage trend”, but now I have seen the collection in full, I can appreciate once more Proenza’s innovative drive.
    Ps: I LOVE your blog, are you coming back to Australia for MBFWA? Please do so, and in the meantime introduce our so call “elite” network bloggers how to blog fashion properly and not document their macaroon dates. I love how you support designers (emerging and developed) but you creatively write, visually document details and really delve into the creative development of the industry. My favourite blogger by far. If only I had the guts to walk up to you and shake your hand at MBFWA in 2011, bravo sista x

  14. Women Jumpsuits

    2013-02-06 at 11:22 AM

    All the girls love fashion. They want their dress to be fashionable and always in a trend. This latest trend for women clothing was very elegant. I like the fashion clothing it is simple but we can wear it in any casual occasion. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Abigail

    2013-02-06 at 11:41 AM

    A collection that really makes me go ‘Wow’! The craftsmenship and detail gone into each peice is excellent and the imagery used is very clever. It makes a change from seeing the obvious at Fashion Week. Love it!

  16. Sarah

    2013-02-06 at 12:45 PM

    I don’t know what it is about Proenza Schouler but I love the way they always style the hair in their shows and campaigns. Its just so casually and relaxed, I am constantly inspired by it. As for the fashion, these prints are so graphically pleasing anyone with an appreciation for graphics would love it, I certainly do.
    Sarah x

  17. fashionandstylepolice

    2013-02-06 at 1:16 PM

    Loving prints right now. Love your pictures.

  18. AngieMontreal

    2013-02-06 at 6:38 PM

    God, I have so much respect for these two and their team….

  19. laura

    2013-02-07 at 11:21 AM

    Just divine! The prints are just perfection, and the cuts are just so cool, clam and collective. I love this collection, I wish it was in my wardrobe 🙁
    I adore that the collection is very graphic but simple in form, that’s nearly impossible to achieve without getting it so badly wrong.

  20. The Provoker

    2013-02-10 at 1:52 AM

    I do like the graphic in your face sort of imagery used in PS’s SS13 campaign, the problem I have (well, may not be that much of a problem), is that I feel the duo simply wanted to play around with texture blocking hoping the success would continue as well as it did fw12-3, but it looked very disconnected (even though it was a theme/concept). Using the holes and the poppers seemed a bit like a cop out to “change” the texture, perhaps I’m just being too picky and fastidious, I was just not as impressed as I was with their fencing collection. Here’s to hoping fw13-4 will blow us away! ;D

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