Proenza Schouler: 2011 CFDA Fashion Awards Winner

The 2011 CFDA Fashion Awards was last night and the big winner  was Proenza Schouler who won the Womenswear Designer of the Year Award.

Jack McCollough & Lazaro Hernandez, Proenza Schouler

You may ask, “What is the CFDA Award?”  Well, the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designer of America), is a not-for-profit trade association that leads industry initiatives and consist of over 370 of America’s fashion, jewelry and accessory designers.  This event is hosted every year to recognize creative talent in the fashion industry and is awarded by their peers in the industry. The CFDA not only provides professional development assistance, but also scholarships.

(Left) Proenza Schouler Fall 2003 Collection & (Right) Liv Tyler at the 2011 CFDA Awards wearing Proenza Schouler

If you’re not familiar with Proenza Schouler, the handsome duo, Jack McCollough & Lazaro Hermandez went to design school together and started their first collection in Fall 2003.  The unique name, Proenza Schouler, is a hybrid of Jack and Lazaro’s mother’s maiden names. Their mothers must be so proud.  The first line featured modern bustiers and corsets and today they continue to design for the modern girl but with a more minimalistic look.

Congratulations, Jack & Lazaro on the CFDA Award!

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at The Met Atlantis

When famous fashion designer, Alexander McQueen died of a suicide last year, I don’t think I knew the magnitude of what we lost in the fashion world.  Until I saw Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at The Met.  For years, I’ve seen and admired his collections in magazines, but to see his work in person was jaw dropping. His level of craftsmanship combined with is his sense of style was amazing. From goth to romanticism, he modernized looks of yesteryear.

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at The Met Romantic Primitivism

Walking through the gallery at The Met was poetry in motion.  Each room features designs from different collections, from goth, romantic, naturalism and tribalism to futuristic.  Viewing his collection, you can see not only the artistry his designs but also his love of history, by acknowledging and referencing his Scottish heritage in his “Highland Rape” and to England’s history in the collection called “The Girl Who Lived in the Tree”.

The extraordinary craftmanship in the clothes is beyond what I envisioned of the show. After all, he did work as a tailor on Saville Row in London.  The pieces presented at The Met are the theatrical to say the least, but from these you get the feeling you’re in a room of  a showman-designer.  The statuesque mannequins wearing unique headpieces and his signature amardillo shoes, with the designs so close you could see the intricate stitching detail.

McQueen used accessories to intensify his designs. He worked with famous accessories designers, such as milliner Philip Treacy and jewelry designer Sarah Harmarnee.  In one the rooms, “Cabinet of Curiosities”, an entire wall is filled with outrageous headdresses that would make any model shutter with awe with the thought of wearing one. To say the least it was intense.

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty "Cabinet of Curiosities"

There’s also the video of  the hologram of Kate Moss from the his Fall 2006 Collection.  Kate Moss is wearing an organza ruffle dress and the dress billows and folds with the wind. It’s simply angelic.  Everyone in the gallery stands there mesmerized by the simplistic beauty of it.

After seeing McQueen’s work at The Met, I’m left with the question I’ve asked many people over the years. Can fashion be art?  Is there an art to designing?  Most people look at what they are wearing and say “Of course not, it’s just clothes”.  I say, “How very, very sad…….”  They have no clue what they are missing.  I think clothes can bring beauty, truth and raw emotion to everyday life.  I think McQueen did just that.  He will be greatly missed.