A model at the Proenza Schouler show. Photo: Getty Images
Tomorrow is the last day of New York Fashion Week and apparently I’ve been in a REM state all week. I know this because watching the incredible Proenza Schouler show this evening felt akin to getting hit in the face with a frying pan.
It wasn’t just me. More than one editor commented as we left the venue, “Well that just makes everything else feel like shit.” A compliment of the highest degree for the Proenza boys, not so much for everyone else.
Not that all the other collections were bad, and no one can blame a creative person for faltering every once in a while — hey, at least they’re trying! — but the first model on the runway at Proenza was an aha moment. It wasn’t even that revolutionary of a first look: A white cotton sleeveless jacquard vest with white crepe pants, and top nipped in at the chest, fastened by a bow. A new take on sailor chic perhaps, but not at all contrived or costumey.
A plissé top and beaded skirt at Proenza Schouler. Photo: Getty Images
The hits kept coming: A white off-the-shoulder poplin dress trimmed with pom poms would have looked smashing while sipping sunset cocktails in Ibiza (which inspired the duo); the deep scarlet hues from Peter Copping’s Spanish-themed viaje resurfaced in the form of poplin coats punctuated to look like Swiss cheese; a rose motif slayed on a silk crepe top and matching skirt.
So what made it so good? Innovation and fabrication, mainly. The set was completely minimal (editors sat on white foam cubes), making the clothes really stand out. The linked feather tops and dresses drove me insane–do you know how long it would take to make those things? The show closed out with a nod to flamenco with one-shoulder dresses where the ruffle wrapped around the body like an orange peel, and, of course, to OG couturier and famed Spaniard Cristóbal Balenciaga. Hand stitched and beaded skirts worn with billowing plissé tops — it was some serious next level sh*t.
Was this a call to arms by the Proenza boys to replace Alexander Wang? Anything is possible, as I'm sure this collection will catch the eye of the Kering bigwigs.