At what points do 1969, 1992 and 2006 intersect? I have no idea!
It could be on the touch generous side, but I think Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough understood their references perfectly-- and made their best collection yet.
In interviews, they ooohed and ahhhed about loving the "naivete" in the work of Cy Twombly and Mark Rothko. They wanted to expand those prints and pallets into rigorous and structured tailoring for a line that is very much out of the early 90's-- and very, very much about what is current. Despite the influences coming from decades past, there is nothing romanticized about those histories.
Nostalgia is not present thanks mainly to the period of Twombly and Rothko from which they borrowed. This is not actually a period of naivete or reactive expression. This is '69: Twombly's scribbles are larger, more alone. They look tired, weary. This is Rothko right before suicide. The pieces that are present in this collection appear to be from the Rothko Chapel. This is his weightiest, saddest work.
That Hernandez and McCollough have such ability to reign in large, fully and previously realized work is surprising and effective. The prints have been deconstructed and paneled into gorgeous and challenging cuts.
So were the boys of Proenza Schouler themselves being naive? And, because of the success of the clothes, lucky? I don't think so. These are smart guys. The sophistication in the influences, and the end results of the clothes, speak volumes about how important these young designers are to American fashion.