Proenza Schouler’s shows are usually held in a dark, cavernous warehouse on the Hudson River late in the evening—or, as was the case last season, a musty, dilapidated building in the Financial District. But for their Spring/Summer 2014 collection, which showed in New York on Wednesday, designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez took things light and airy. They held the show in, of all places, Midtown—in a sleek office building in the middle of the workday lunchtime crush.
Light bled through giant windows and gave the room that golden, late-summer glow. How perfect, then, that the Proenza Schouler collection embodied just that atmosphere: the opening look featured long and loose cropped white pants with a structured black jacket with camel trim. There were long, flowing white coats, long red suede dresses, and a few fabulous skirts with structured peplums. A boxy white overcoat with a plunging neckline was a highlight, as was as a sand-colored crepe dress with an equally low neckline. The mood was light and upbeat, hems were low, and fit was loose. The look was polished.
Accessories were not as strong as usual, with chunky black high-heeled sandals with wooden soles clomping down the runway. Bags came in the form of delicate square clutches—and there were a few standout statement necklaces made of metal.
McCullough and Hernandez’s eveningwear was particularly notable. They worked heavily with long black pleated knits, accented with a bit of silver or gold. Pleated silk skirts flashed with metallics and looked like they were made to move. The show-closers, however, were metallic cast-iron tops: one in copper and the other in chrome, worn with loose skirts—which made the models look like nighttime warriors, albeit very chic ones.
In their show notes, McCullough and Hernandez said the collection was about “understated domesticity,” whatever that means. “The mood is serene and polished, juxtaposing hard and soft, technology and craft.” Certainly that was true. The two said they thought of mid-century West Coast furniture designers in their use of wood and chrome, the woven silks referenced Moroccan weavings, and the Arte Povera movement served as inspiration for the patterns.