I've spent the past two days slapping myself awake from a mind-numbing turn of events that took place approximately... those two days ago. In blunt form, the short answer to my extended mental disfunction is Proenza Schouler. I know, just the two words send sartorial chills through your fashion-hungry bones. In explicit form, the answer lies in Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez' Fall 2012 exploration of the world's oriental corners that resulted in an exquisite amalgam of pristine white pantsuits (with an asymetrical kick), continual layering of cocooning leather coats over voluminous leather trousers, and the label's signature texture/print play. Honestly, I needed a grapple-hook to sling me back to my original birds-eye watching position after just the corner-turn of the first look of the show. No exaggeration intended.
After review of the twitter-verse shortly after the presentation, it became clear that the Proenza boys had undoubtedly boggled minds once again. Praise was ubiquitous. And although reviews are already sprouting up in military-like succession, I'm throwing in my two cents for further personal opinion's sake.
As a background brief, McCollough and Hernandez cited their desire to intertwine the spirits of Asia and New York into a single cohesive entity this time around for Fall. Their proposed inspiration from historic oriental uniforms like the kimono and traditional practices of martial arts was evident, with referenced thoughts narrowing in bulky outerwear and the particular set of ornate tunics that appeared towards end of show (literal take on the kimono). Adding the signature practicality element of New York to the Asian alternative, you end up with what the designer duo called the spirit of 'protection'. With Winter clearly making its presence known this season in the city, protection sounds like a sartorial wonder. Even more if its in Proenza Schouler form. The product of the duo's thought process took shape in tough all-leather looks, one featuring head-to-toe black and a memorable other pure sapphire with gorgeous quilted detail. However, a sense of protection clearly did not have to be constricted to its austere stereotype considering the designers' several stark white ensembles that opened the show. The jackets, collared shirts, and wide-pants were structured and fitted while offering a loose attribute. McCollough and Hernandez did mention that they were opting for more of a slouch this season, giving reason to the ease and volume injected in each look, no matter how rigid the piece. Of course, I can't forget the asymmetrical lining on the opening jacket, which no doubt signals the modernity of the collections' New York-based inspiration half.
Proenza Schouler would not really be Proenza Schouler without a certain experimentation of fabric, texture, and technique. Think of the boys as contemporary craftsmen, if you will, always managing to include the what-has-come-to-be signature constructing technique of weaving each season, as they did for this Fall. Crocheted skirts, quilted panel jackets, and intricate brocade embroideries are only some of the novel additions to the label's queue of innovative techniques, some of which we have yet to witness grace the runway. But for now, I feel basket weaving will at least last us until next season. At least I'll try my hardest to wait that long...