Top editors, buyers and celebrities (like Liv Tyler and Elizabeth Olsen) are willing to schlep anywhere for Proenza Schouler--even to a decrepit (albeit gorgeous) building by City Hall with no heating in the middle of the winter (it was the setting for the label's fall 2013 show). That's because designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez consistently put out one of the best collections every New York fashion week. And last night was no exception.
This was a more refined, restrained collection from McCollough and Hernandez. While Proenza Schouler is the ultimate downtown cool (but also rich) kid brand, the first looks out embraced a posher more grown-up uptown girl. Don't forget, Proenza Schouler opened their very first brick and mortar store this past year and they picked the Upper East side for the location rather than SoHo.
Sasha Pivovarova, in her first show since giving birth, opened the show in a simple yet elegant bouclé suit: a white jacket with rounded shoulders (cue the cries of "couture shapes" and Balenciaga) paired with a black knee-length pencil skirt. Then we saw the look in reverse. Gradually those boxy, tough looking leather jackets--a continuation of the Japanese armor-inspired ones we saw last year--worked their way in. But still, there was a lighter touch here. Aside from a few touches of lavender and some peach at the end, the color palette of this collection was confined to black, grey and white. All the better to highlight the great variety of textures and textiles used: bouclé, tweed, ostrich, leather, suede, embroidered strips of chain (a very neat visual trick when sewn together in columns across a top or dress), and then at the end, something called "technical lace." I'm not sure what that means but I do know it looked awful pretty at the end. It was a feminine touch after a slew of boxier silhouettes--an emphasized waist and a bit of color, finally--after a masterful exercise in restraint.