Proenza Schouler Does Neon And Tie-Dye And Somehow Makes It Subtle


After all the aggressively po-mo retro sampling happening in many of the New York fashion week shows, it was nice to see that Proenza Schouler, who presented their spring collection last night, kept things relatively free of obvious “references.”

Not entirely free, by any means — you can see as well as I that the first look was a take on that Chanel staple, the tweed collarless jacket. After his heavily 70s-inspired show, Marc Jacobs justified his pilfering eye by — what else? — quoting Coco Chanel, who said that those who insist upon their own originality have no memory. Proenza’s Chanel quote has jaunty little exposed hook-and-eye closures.

Expect that easily copied detail to get sampled by the high street.

Sheer fabrics abounded, and the use of textures — fabric set into little knobbles or pleats — was interesting.

Especially when combined with shibori dyeing.

I dig the cocoon coat.

Let us never speak again of the Pregnant Dress.

Amidst the fuller, blousier silhouettes, there were some nice structured pieces.

Joan Smalls, pictured here, was the only black model Proenza Schouler booked. She had one outfit out of the 39-look show. Given the influence of this young label — benefiting as it does from the patronage of such fashion powers as Anna Wintour — the sameness of the casting was a real disappointment.

It will be interesting to see how the chiffon panels and overlays we’ve seen in so many of the spring collections so far play out in real life. My immediate thought? Snag city.

Dig the neon, cannot stand the road markings on that skirt.

No collection is without its duds. The ruffled-chiffon-neon-exposed-hook-and-eye tent dresses managed to be each one worse than the last.


The comparatively restrained shibori dyed t-shirt dresses, on the other hand, looked awesome.

Most of the collection having passed by in a blitz of neutral and pale gray tones, it was nice when the co-designers really got cracking with some colors.

And expect those equally brightly colored accessories to be — like the label’s PS 1, which is not a reference to the art museum but a satchel — widely copied.

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