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Proenza Schouler Pre-Fall 2014: Slightly '70s, Plus New Bags!

The hot button issue: To gaucho or not to gaucho.

According to Proenza Schouler's Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough, their Pre-Fall 2014 collection was inspired by West Coast American interior design. It also picked up where Spring left off, and had an "earthy, organic" color palette." Instead of an overly technical, jargon-filled review, I'm just going to list a few things that were going through my head as I was walked through the presentation.

"Who in this world can pull off a gaucho?" While an appealingly graceful silhouette in theory, these are very hard to wear. The design duo first showed a pair for Spring 2014, and it seems the idea stuck. It doesn't matter that these were crafted from the softest and lightest suede and leather, or that they came in gorgeous colors such as burnt sienna, bordeaux and a palette-cleansing off-white. I held up a pair to my body and I felt like a dorky sailor. However, not one, but two editors stopped dead in their tracks to pick up the white ones, saying, "Oh, these are SO [editor's name redacted]!" Also, there's a big debate going on in the office about this right now (Nora says yes, Lauren says maybe). So what do I know? Judging by the way people took to the midi-skirt trend (also hard to wear), I'm guessing everyone will just figure it out. They were beautiful, though.

"Leather on leather is the new denim on denim." The buttery soft, long-sleeve tops looked absolutely awesome over flippy skirts and aforementioned gauchos (again, god speed). To break it up, the designers used shots of shearling, which added some nice texture. Good styling tip to remember. "How do these guys dream up such innovative fabrics?" It wouldn't be a Proenza collection if there wasn't some new-fangled textile. Here, we saw tiny bits of black velvet glued on to white viscose crepe and yet another fresh take on tweed (possible name of PS memoir: Pushing the Tweed Envelope), which featured flocked (i.e. furry and fluffy) velvet as well. (Flocking, we're told, is something the duo is experimenting with for Fall 2014).

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"Hmmm, the hippie vibe is really chic this time around." I personally like it when the Hernandez and McCollough get a little wild and colorful, but Lauren is sure to love this season's take on the pair's signature Baja print: It's very grownup in muted taupe, white and black.

"A new bag? What, Proenza Schouler's making a new bag?" Not only did the designers rework an old style into a stripped down, very school girl-looking satchel in a rich burgundy and black (called the "bookbag"), but we spied a tote that they're "testing" this season. There's no name for it yet. But it's a structured tall number with a clutch-like, snap-pouch sewn onto the front and short handles. We saw it in the same burgundy and black as well.

"Why are there so many more shoes compared to usual? Oooh..." Ever since the company inked a licensing deal with Iris SpA last year, there's been a push to expand footwear. The woven styles here, most of which were black and white, were huarache 3.0 -- witchy open-toe boots and a pair of heels that had a cool white leather mohawk-like piece going up the back (you'll be sure to see both of these in every single accessories still life shoot in every single magazine). And the answer to the one question you're all wondering: Yes, there were flats, too.

Photos: Courtesy