photo: Getty

Spain seemed to be on the mind of designers Jack McCollough, Lazaro Hernandez, and Peter Copping when it came to conceptualizing their respective spring 2016 collections. The Spanish-inspired black, red, and white color palette, ruffled hems, exposed shoulders and intricate embroidery were part of the overarching theme seen at the two shows during New York Fashion Week. There were big shoes for Copping to fill when presenting his second collection since the 2014 passing of de la Renta while the cool boys of fashion at Proenza brought the wow-factor to the young brand. Both brands brought the Spanish flair to NYFW, and it was truly show-stopping.

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photo: Getty

The Oscar de la Renta spring 2016 collection marks designer Peter Copping's second collection as the company's artistic director. A single red carnation — a favorite of the late de la Renta — laid on each show-goer's seat as a nod to the Spanish influence behind the show and the crimson bloom was also seen throughout the designs that made their way down the runway. The French designer drew inspiration for the collection at the Hispanic Society of America in Harlem, where combed through the archive of textiles and paintings. He incorporated lace detailing, taffeta, and silk — fabric favorites de la Renta himself often used in his designs — along with a vibrant color story that included red and white to pay homage to Spanish fashion. 

Elegance is the word that comes to mind when describing the breathtaking gowns, bolero jackets, and ruffled skirts Copping created — which happened to all be paired with the most casual footwear choice: espadrilles. There was something contemporary about all of the looks, but Copping was mindful of staying true to the brand's classic aesthetic. Our favorites included a high-neck ruffled gown, a cape with a grosgrain ribbon closure, and an intricately ruffled and ruched floor-length skirt that is begging for a black-tie event.

photo: Getty

“No spectacle. No fireworks. We just wanted to show the power of craft and clothes-making,” Lazaro Hernandez told WWD before the show. Unlike Peter Copping at Oscar de la Renta, the Proenza Schouler duo may not have been directly inspired by Spain, but the sophisticated, slinky garments definitely strayed away from the usual leather and bonded fabrics seen in previous collections. It got us excited about spring fashion after seeing a lot of minimalism and not enough feminine sophistication and attention-grabbing fashion.

The beautiful craftsmanship shown by the beloved designers left fashionistas in awe and Hernandez did acknowledge that some bits of inspiration stemmed from his Cuban roots, telling Calgary Herald, “We wanted to look at my personal history somehow,” he said. “We’ve never really done that. So we were like looking at pictures of family, and there was a heat and a sensuality, all those cultures that felt sort of right and powerful and emotional.” The standouts for us included a gorgeous shoulder-baring top adorned with a bow and plenty of ruffle, a one-shoulder gown with a sexy high slit, and a refined, curve-hugging black number with cascading ruffles.

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