What a Pitti! Art Meets Proenza Fashion

Lazaro Hernandez, Chloe Sevigny, Jack McCollough

At Pitti Immagine, Florence’s mega fashion trade show, menswear has long been the main attraction. But with a fledgling women’s project just two years along, the folks at Pitti are inviting the big boys in to help bolster up the business. And by boys I mean the ones from Proenza Schouler, who on Thursday evening presented their prespring 2010 collection with an event that the Renaissance city will soon not forget. Designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez invited three of their favorite artists to interpret their collection using a variety of different mediums. Sculptor Haim Steinbach, who has three decades’ experience decorating shelves in a different context, created an installation in the grand foyer of the magnificent Villa La Petraia that  hosted the evening’s program. Using the designers new accessories collection, Steinbach set up accessories as a Minimalist series, intervening in an old world garden in the middle of the most Baroque of rooms, every inch of its walls covered in frescos.

Outside, performance artist Kalup Linzy’s music video, commisioned by the designers and starring Choe Sevigny and model Liya Kebede, streamed along the exterior walls of the estate. The campy Linzy stole the screen in drag singing a song whose lyric content was the words “Fuck You.” Who knew so much message could be delivered with so little? Kebede was also the subject of a series of Linzy’s photographic portraits in iconic Renaissance poses wearing the Proenza Schouler pre-spring 2010 collection.


It was Kembra Pfahler, under the guise of the Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black, who really had heads spinning. Spilling out of her corset with her signature ratted-up wig and KISS make-up,  Black took the stage with her chorus line of scary black-faced coquettes and belted out a score that was death metal magic. “It was our first time showing outside of New York so we really wanted to up the ante,” says Hernandez. Stepped it up, as it were.