In their fall 2010 collection, Proenza Schouler designers Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough toyed with the idea of uniform, fielding duffel coats, prim white button-downs, cropped blazers and distorted plaids. The duo’s gawky-glamorous reinvention of these preppy staples (inspired in part by the darkly majestic urban photography of artist Christopher Wool) was conceived as an awkward coming-of-age story, a tribute to “youth and prep school—and kids rebelling against it,” says Hernandez. When it came to commissioning a film to showcase the collection, one director sprung to mind: Harmony Korine. One of the most influential experimental filmmakers of the past twenty years, Korine is no stranger to teenage angst—his breakthrough came in 1995 when he scripted Larry Clark’s controversial drama Kids
. What’s more, he’d previously worked with Christopher Wool on a book of collaborative paintings (2002’s Pass the Bitch Chicken
). Hernandez and McCollough armed Korine with one of Wool’s photographs and a batch of their designs, which Korine took to Nashville, Tennessee, or as he puts it, “the greatest place on earth.” The resulting film (turned around in just one and a half days) is classic Korine: jagged, poignant, beautiful. Its protagonists are anxious teen girls on the threshold of adulthood—“part of the system, yet still outsiders,” explains McCollough. In a series of hazy 8mm vignettes, accompanied by a soft, lilting voice over, the girls skulk around schoolyards, spray graffiti, drink, smoke, pose and embrace, evoking the loneliness, confusion and overwhelming wonder of growing up. Korine himself puts a more defiant spin on the film: “It’s about girls who sleep in abandoned cars and set things on fire. It’s about the great things in life. The stars in the sky and lots of malt liquor.” Today we present some exclusive stills from the upcoming film, which premieres on Proenza Schouler’s website
in early September, along with some pre-game commentary
from the designers.