by Grace Gordon
Perhaps the fashion industry was too hasty when naming Alexander Wang the new “Prince of Prints” after his FW11 show. They had no way of knowing his title would remain for only a few days before he was dethroned by Proenza Schouler.
This is what stands out in their collection: bright, current prints that modernize the sophisticated city girl. What makes these prints current is they draw on the recent trend in Native American prints - from Aztec to Navajo. With this style so prevalent among the youth market, Proenza Schouler can once again claim the honor of being the industry's coolest designers.
The hipster appeal of this collection might be limited to the prints. What the eye-popping, sharp designs were printed on came in an array of highly urbane ensembles. From leather to velvet, Proenza Schouler experimented with different shapes and textures. From swinging color block leather toppers to hand-painted velvet dresses, each look was a showstopper. Geometric patterns tumbled down the front of silky dresses, creating a look that was prismatic and radiant, like peering down into a kaleidoscope. Simple sheath dresses belied complicated pattern and tailoring techniques. The design duo also showed cozy knits reminiscent of the type worn by our favorite TV dad (Bill Cosby), and unraveled fringe skirts with a decidedly Western feel. Maybe it was the way the runway lights hit the dresses, but most of the silk and velvet numbers glowed as if lit from within. Proenza Schouler’s continued success relies on creating looks that tread the line between cool and refined. This collection successfully marries the two looks beautifully.