So we’ve had the mixing bold (retro) prints and colors trend. Now it’s time to take it to another level. This season therefore is all about patchwork fashion items. Jackets, skirts and dresses made out of multiple – very different – fabrics sewn together. Though it’s more of a trend you’d usually associate with winter several designers (the patchwork pioneers) have been able to give it a fresh summer feeling. At Erdem light spring prints were combined with a leather snake fabrics. Antonio Marras mixed different fresh looking tweeds, army and floral prints together. Preen used colorful stripes and snake prints for his dresses and skirts. The designers at Proenza Schouler used snake skin for their patchwork too, as Rodarte experimented with a mix of colors, prints and materials. On the streets it was still a little too early to spot this patchwork phenomena (although the jersey sweaters with printed scarf parts are some kind of patchwork too). Yet once all girls are bored of their fully printed looks they’ll undoubtedly head into this direction.
Gone was the retro kitch of last season, it was hello to a more minimalist theme at Proenza Schouler for fall 2012. The dus had said they took inspiration from their trip to Peru and Bhutan. The show opened with crisp white cottons. Big boxy jackets, shirtdresses and skirts were flat, precise layers that folded across the body with uneven hems and workwear details.
After the extremes, a more understandable part came with natural shapes, including suit jackets and stiff wrap skirts made from intricately woven leather in red, black and gold.
The show ended on a distinct Oriental note. The designers vacationed in Bhutan in October when the country was focused on its king’s wedding. They were taken with the colors and patterns of the traditional national garb, which inspired the elaborate brocades they used for short dresses with stiffened, arched hems, and a sweatshirt done in quilted silk embroidered with two exotic birds.
It was pure irony, the ss2012 collection of Proenza Schouler. But beautiful irony. Their inspirations included Fifties car interiors; Googie architecture, and the work of Morris Lapidus, the architect behind Miami’s Fontainebleau hotel. Well, to put it simple: it was about questionable taste.
Key pieces were tight cropped sweaters and a cobalt A-line skirt in eel skin that formed one-half of one of the lineup’s best looks — but the collection was not so serious and sophisticated affair. McCollough and Hernandez worked their references with originality, precision and craftsmanship. They were not afraid to use the so-called bad-taste elements, like tiger-print car interiors and the orange, green and gold palette from the Seventies.
What made the collection strong was the mix of pinup and sultry secretary. Bustier tops were paired with pencil skirts in neon and tropical prints. Yet there was a crafty undercurrent throughout. Raffia was woven into color-blocked knits and remarkable dresses that had cutout maillot tops and wide-weave cage skirts. For the finale, the designers embroidered Hawaiian florals on tulle dresses with open backs and narrow skirts. Talking about modern retro.
Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler took their inspiration from a trip out West, to Santa Fe actually. Earthy desert colors, like orange, golden yellow and brown, dominated, and were worked into a graphic pattern. That pattern was created by the computer using Native American blankets. McCollough and Hernandez manipulated them into a strong urban-chic look.
The designers played their signatures with rich, highly engineered fabrics. The kaleidoscopic results looked unmistakably theirs. The slouchy cut of their pants, the undone way the back hem of a black suede camp shirt was shown untucked over a slim pencil skirt, or how a party dress with an asymmetric neckline was layered over a black tee. The fabric innovation made things look quite new. Two great patent shearlings, pressed flat and cut with clean, sharp lines, required a double take. Chunky, viscose and leather knits worked a cozy street effect. What was most impressive about this collection was that Hernandez and McCollough’s took traditionally homespun themes and made them look sophisticated and even edgy. When did crafted clothes looked so cool?
With their spring collection McCollough and Hernandez seemed to be heading in a new direction. Their clothes seemed more lady-like or, as the designers referred to it themselves, ‘more polished or grown up in a way.’
In a beautiful and soft color palette of pale lavender, pastel yellow, salmon, pink and peach they sent out Chanel-like matted tweed jackets, hand-died and T-shirt dresses and tees and sheer, loose-fitting tank-dresses.
Like in their Resort collection the designers worked with the special Japanese Shibori tie-dye technique, which fit perfect in this collection.
Their embroideries, ruffled details, softer approach and lingerie-looks made the collection very feminine. A few colorful bags and some arty necklaces where the only accessories of the show, but that was just fine.
After a few sexy and dangerous looking collections Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez gave their women more clothes to wear this fall. They layered her with staple pieces like swinging coats, cashmere sweaters and bubble-skirted dresses.
Of course the collection had some special details like the rubber printed cotton twill pants with black and white inkblots These were cool, but the skirts that followed were better: pleated or folded, in navy and green. Very girlish.
The designers also picked up on the season’s fur theme, but there were coats in alpaca too and dresses in black and white angora. The chic little dresses that closed the show hit a high note.
They wanted something young and fresh, so the guys from Proenza Schouler looked to surfing and skating, the things they grew up on. They took the notion of track jackets wrapped around waists and built those elements right into tank dresses and shirtdresses, and they teamed a pair of color-blocked track pants with a great tailored jacket for a sporty-chic effect. It’s the sort of nonchalant look a lot of designers are looking for, and these guys nailed it perfectly. For evening, the silhouette was short, short, short. A few of the cocktail numbers featured the bra-cup bodies the duo has made their signature, mixed with tiers of micro ruffles. Other dresses floated away from the body. The models wore wedge-heel woven sandals as colorful as the clothes.