PROENZA SCHOULER’S MIXED BAG FOR PRE-SPRING 2012: AN ANALYSIS

Proenza Schouler’s pre-spring 2012 collection is a bit of a mixed bag, to say the least. That’s not to say I don’t love the collection, because I really do. In fact, it has haunted my thoughts for the past month. Why? Let’s examine the silhouettes and do a little analysis, shall we?


Exhibit A: Knitted Sweater with Hood and Pleated Short Skirt

It took me a long time to come around on this outfit. I really had to take all of my deep-seated prejudices regarding hooded flannel shirts from the 90s grunge era—and from the 00s pot-infused jam bands–and throw them out the window. Why? Because just look at how well-crafted these clothes are. The skirt reminds me of a bit of Dries Van Noten Fall ’10, a collection made up of military-inspired trench dresses with those fantastically enormous pockets that could literally function as a purse. And paired with that jaw-dropping yet classic box pleat down the center? Perhaps Sarah Mower said it perfectly in her review,

[What women] want is a casual way of dressing that’s also formal enough, new yet not ridiculously gimmicky, confident yet not egregiously aggressive, traditional in a comfortable way, yet also fresh in such a manner that we feel compelled to buy it. 

We are certainly compelled, Sarah…


Exhibit B: Shirt-Dress vs. Shift Dress

Honestly, is there really a difference? Gasp. Ok, I actually do know the difference between a shirt-dress and a shift dress, but for this collection, is there a difference? Is Proenza Schouler achieving anything unique here other than showing off their obviously amazing sense of tailoring, which we have all already embraced time and again? Not really. However, I do greatly appreciate the color blocking. I once asked a fellow co-worker what a teacher meant by a color-block design (because I thought she meant something other than solid color against solid color), and later, actually scoffed at the thought (Folks, really? Didn’t we do that already?). Anyway, I suppose I’ll embrace it because I love love love you, Proenza Schouler.


Exhibit C: The Pinafore

I realize that right now we’re into long and flowy skirts and dresses, but soon enough, my friends, we will be back to that sweet and dandy mini dress (I kinda miss it already). And though the thought of wearing an Anne of Green Gables-inspired pinafore has me weak in the knees, I think I would rather go for something a little hipper, a little higher than my ankles, and a little more 2012.

–LIZ HOFFMANN
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