With its deconstructed coats and jackets and more modern attitude, Proenza Schouler’s last fall/winter collection was considered a breakthrough. That’s partly thanks to the abstract-expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler, designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez’s biggest inspiration. You can see for yourself tonight at the brand’s store in Soho: Two of her works will be on display right next to the collection itself.
McCollough and Hernandez will also be on hand to talk about their design process and influences, which, for the fall 2015 collection, started with the New York School, a group of abstract expressionists from the ’50s and ’60s. Frankenthaler — a rare female artist for that time — caught their eye not only for the vast scale and color of her paintings and woodcuts, but because of her approach to painting in general. “Her process often included thinning out paint and pouring it over canvas without any preconceived ideas of what the outcome would be. That was very inspiring to us on a conceptual level — that complete dedication to a process without having a set idea of what the final result would be,” the designers told the Cut. “There’s something incredibly liberating and modern to that approach.”
Plus, if you’re eyeing any Proenza after the talk, you can shop somewhat guilt-free: 15 percent of the proceeds will go to the Helen Frankenthaler Scholarship Fund at Bennington College.