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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



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Proenza Schouler’s Sassy Classy Chic

Godfrey Deeny
September 16th, 2010 @ 00:28 AM - New York

Finally, after a week watching models dressed as if returning from a '70s nightclub, Proenza Schouler gave us the most contemporary statement of fashion for the coming decade seen all week in the current New York season.

Inspired and ignited by a visit to Japan of Proenza Schouler’s creative duo Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, this spring 2011 collection presented on Wednesday, Sept. 15, had all the uptown aplomb one expects from this brand, but allied with a sense of sassy color.

The key element was the fabric, especially shibori silk, where by tying chiffon in knots before being immersed in dye creates an explosively dimpled color pattern. With runways across the city crammed with zigzag disco club wear prints, these random kaleidoscopes of color were super refreshing.

“We were looking at clichéd ideas of femininity – lingerie, lace, color, flowers, tweed, pencil, skirts. All those ideas of sophistication and then translating them in an insane way,” explained Hernandez post-show.

“There was really no reference. We wanted to just feel new and modern,” he added, of a show, where there was little structure, and tweed jackets slouched rather than hung.

Crinkly, twisted and including skirts that looked more spun by a spider than sewn by a seamstress, the collection had a floating, lightweight appearance that had a great charm. They were in contrast to the hard urban setting, a funky old garage in Chelsea where the backdrop was a large wall made of hugs stacks of plasterboard.

Featuring lots of cool accessories – from aviator style sunglasses and large antique, stone encrusted amulets to coin rings and natty new pastel colored shoulder bags – the collection zipped right along to a soundtrack of a scat singer over a full orchestra.

Halfway through, the designers shifted gear with a series of semi-sheer chiffon dresses, cut more maturely below the knee, yet subverted as they all revealed bras and underwear beneath. The trick sabotaged the formality of the look, even as it rendered it new and chic – just like the techniques that made this such a memorable show.

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