Perhaps designers absorb each other’s energy by osmosis, but it happens every season that dominant trends begin to emerge on the runway. For Fall/Winter 2015 we’ve seen a lot of fur stoles belted around the torso, drop-shoulder outerwear, baggy trousers, and a case of disappearing throats (funnel necked tops, turtlenecks and high-neck Edwardian blouses have stolen the spotlight at a majority of shows). So it comes as something of a relief that Proenza Schouler firmly bucked all trends for Fall/Winter 2015 and decided to do their own thing. What’s even more refreshing is that their work was so extraordinarily innovative that literally nothing else at New York Fashion Week looked like it. This collection was far ahead of the curve, at times defying fashion’s language, so bear with us as we attempt to explain the inexplicable.
On the runway, Proenza Schouler created a new tribe of women.
On the runway, Proenza Schouler created a new tribe of women. They were unequivocally ferocious, sporting an array of black, white, red, and grey looks that wound around the body like a Robert Morris felt sculpture. It began with a tamer notion: a cropped, off-shoulder top with frayed edges with slices cut from the middle. Every look was styled with oval fishnet tights and tabbed booties with metallic heels, supporting the sense of tribal connectedness. Included in the early portion of the show were nicely tailored coats with Mongolian shearling collars, tied with big kimono belts. Excess grew more prevalent as the coats were updated with hanging tabs and patchworked fur, but it was the dresses that really captured our attention. The dresses have an inner structure around which fabric is bandaged to the surface, wrapping around the body haphazardly and revealing peekaboo hints of flesh below. They call to mind the complex nature of traditional geisha costuming, or complicated saris, but they are more powerful and more romantic.
Feather shoulder coverings were introduced as decorative elements near the end; in cardinal colors they sat atop gorgeous dresses that were criss-crossed with grommets. Other “dresses” (if you can call them that) were simply a sprawl of clinging, prismatic material, which glittered in shades of obsidian, pewter, and ruby. The final look amalgamates the kinetic energy of the proceeding looks, culminating in the week’s most stunning exit. What are we supposed to call it? A dress? A suit of armor? An art piece? Whatever it was, it was exquisite. Our gratitude goes out to Proenza Schouler for reaffirming the fact that there can be new ideas in fashion.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree