Looks like Proenza Schouler and Andrew Rosen are finally teaming up. It's been over a year since we first learned that Theory ceo Rosen was interested in buying Proenza Schouler. The label is part-owned by Permira Group, a London investment firm that also owns Valentino. Permira put its 45% stake in Proenza on the block in February of 2010. At the beginning of 2011, we heard that the deal had been penned for months but that Permira wasn't happy with the terms, resulting in severe delays. Then Mark Holgate pretty much confirmed on the pages of Vogue that it was all happening! Now WWD reports that it is indeed happening, probably by the end of this month. The partnership will be structured similarly to the agreements Rosen has with Rag & Bone and Alice and Olivia, which are also personal investments. Rosen runs Theory and Helmut Lang, but they're owned by Uniqlo.
Last night, following the senior's fashion show in the afternoon, Parsons hosted a benefit dinner at Pier 60. The benefit served many purposes: to raise money for Parsons' scholarships, honor Proenza Schouler's Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez and Bonnie Brooks, President of Hudson's Bay Company, showcase the senior class' designs, and announce the Designers of the Year. That's a lot to pack into one evening--and it was a long one!--but considering the benefit raised nearly $1.7 million for scholarships it was completely worth it. We caught up with attendees Prabal Gurung and Proenza Schouler as well as Parsons grad Harim Jung, who took home the womenswear designer of the year awards and the Kering Empowering Imagination Award. Read on.
Prabal Gurung is a fashion darling, but he's also got the chops to back up his buzz. Yesterday's show at Lincoln center was proof. Not only did he build on his reputation for expertly draped and tailored evening dresses--he also gave us something different: distinctive day wear. I was afforded the opportunity to sit in Row 1, Section A with Gurung-supporter/sponsor Nadja Swarovski. I'll be shadowing Swarovski for a bunch of sponsored shows at London Fashion Week, as well as a show in Paris. (I'm traveling with the company as a blogging ambassador of sorts.) It was undoubtedly the best seat I've ever had, and I was truly appreciative. Not only did I get a great view of the clothes, but also the INSANELY AMAZING shoes designed by Nicholas Kirkwood. If you thought sky-high heels were on their way out, you're wrong: Kirkwood's collection for Prabal was strappy and nearly-dominatrix in its styling, save for the soft nude, gold and neons used on the straps, leather and platforms. Nicholas sat across from us, paying close attention to how the girls walked. But back to the clothes:
When Karlie stomped out in that elegantly tarty one-shouldered red dress, I knew the audience was in for another powerful collection from Prabal Gurung. Moving away from the structured dresses he's become well known for, the designer took more risks, incorporating lace, extravagantly woven knits, and dip-dyed fur in combos of white and red and white and purple. My favorite looks were the ones that stayed true to his strong-girl aesthetic: the fitted black techno wool cloqué dress adorned with Swarovski crystalsand ostrich feathers on the chest and shoulders; the silver and ivory hand-painted silk chiffon and organza braided gown; the frilly red blouse with pink boot cut trousers and a black belt tying it all together. One complaint: I wish Gurung would have included more day wear. Last season there was such a great mix of dramatic daytime pieces and glamorous gowns: This season, it was pretty much all glamorous gowns. And while his customer will certainly needs a few red carpet worthy garments, she surely likes to wear Prabal all day long. **Photos by Imaxtree.