It’s been slim pickings this season, and just as the fashion crowd are getting a little restless, the end clearly in sight now, along come Proenza Schouler to take things up a notch and prove to us yet again just why they’re considered arguably the most important young designers of NYFW. Their collection for spring, at once experimental and intriguing, was also infinitely wearable – fun even- and as the models took to the amber-hued shagpile runway to the beat of bongo drums the excitement in the audience was palpable.
The silhouettes were structured and lean, featuring jungle motifs, scattered animal print, horizontal stripes and incredibly intricate embellishment. The vibe was summer resort circa 1960 – the brilliant vaguely tribal and safari ensembles bringing to mind cocktail hour by a tiki hut in a decadent Miami hotel. There was a fabulously Flinstones edge to the overtly retro take on bold animal prints employed loosely throughout, and striking beachwear took us straight to iconic and wild early 60s Californian surf movie Beach Party.
Proportions were expertly played with: high-waisted below knee-length A-line skirts and shorts crafted from long sections of eel leather paired with cute bustier tops, or cropped mac-inspired shirts sitting block-like and oversize revealing a dash of midriff above a high-waisted skirt or trouser made for striking combinations. The 70s-inspired palette was genius – with the bold bright orange, electric lime and amber made accessible when paired with basic black and dark brown. The innovative textiles we’ve come to know Proenza for were out again this season in force, particularly interesting were the woven raffia skirts and dresses, one black flesh-baring crochet number in black a total knock-out, as well as the printed neoprene tops – the show-stopping numbers really hit at shows close, teal and yellow tulle embroidered dresses absolutely breathtaking. It was amazing to see from the final run-through the complete journey Proenza had took us on this season, from chic daywear in deep hues that would not look out of place in the office, through to skillfully ornate multi-hued dresses and modish giraffe and tiger prints fit for the red carpet – or rocking beach party.