Proenza Schouler Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2014 New York

Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler look to be making a concerted shift in direction with their signature collection. First, there was the choice to show their latest collection at noon instead of being the closing act at the end of a fashion filled day. Then, there was the new show location- an under construction floor of a modern office building (in the past the collection was revealed in a derelict structure). And finally there were the clothes themselves.

In the past the designers experimentation with high tech fabrics and cutting edge design techniques was much more apparent to the naked eye. But the duo turned the volume down on those features this time. Focusing on creating a rather understated collection where comfort and construction were the dueling taskmaster of the show.

The first thing that pulled the attention was the distinctive crepe pants the designers proffered up. Cut well above the ankle with wide legs, the pants had strong delineations down the center, and when paired with tops that finished in stiff straight peplums, there was a real sense of layered structure to the designs. Fans won’t be surprised to learn that mid-century West Coast furniture designers inspired the duo this season. It’s a little detail that also helps to explain their choice to use bold sliver hardware for the show’s fixtures and fittings.

There was an undeniable 70s vibe to this show. All one had to see to get that message was the russet red suede dress with a back to front wrap skirt. But one of the silver edge pleated skirts or shimmering Lurex knit evening dresses also did the trick.

This show was no less ambitious then the designers previous collection. But it whispered, instead of roared, its intentions. It remains to be seen if buyers will be able to hear the duo's voice among the chorus of designers heralding their wears.  

- Jessica Michault

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