Last season was the first time I ever really loved a Proenza Schouler collection, so naturally I was looking forward to see what they'd send out for fall. But the problem I find when I get my hopes up for a collection is that they're rarely met. While I can't say that I love Jack and Lazaro's Fall Winter 2010 presentation, I do really like it. A lot in fact.
In a way it's a bit of a continuation of last season when they seemed to be exploring a bit of early 90s street and youth culture; skateboarding, surfing, graffiti. This time around the look is more grunge, a glamorized take on grunge obviously, but grunge nonetheless. Sharp, accordion pleated minidresses in dark colors were worn over trashy sheer mesh shirts with neat little collars in leather. A short A-line toggle coat was worn over a mini skirt, white blouse and black sheer thigh highs. Cropped pea jackets were paired with layered crop-tops and mini kilts. And varsity jackets were trimmed with fox fur in lurid shades of violet, teal or blue. Try to imagine the bastard child of Cher from "Clueless" and Courtney Love with some 90s-era GAP thrown in and you've got a vague idea of what the look is.
Then came a few graphic printed looks in a combo of black/white and cobalt/white followed by kaleidoscopic printed pieces in shades of green and blue. The prints used for these pieces were apparently made from manipulated photocopies of tartan plaids, not that you can really tell. There were a few cute printed baby doll dresses with black mesh cutouts at the collar and sections of sequin embroidery that really cemented the Hole-era Courtney Love comparison. The final five dresses, two with cutout sides and three draped with bubble skirts, were worn over crop tops. I didn't like any of them. The colors were odd and really stuck out among the rest of the collection, and the dresses themselves were just not very attractive. Unusual considering that one of the duo's strengths are great party dresses. These lacked finesse for the most part, and besides that the draped bubble dresses aren't anything you can't already find elsewhere.
Overall, a pretty cool collection, especially the first two-thirds of it. The way they twisted and subverted both preppy and girly was really well done. I love the idea of an over-sized varsity jacket with a bright fur collar worn with trashy thigh-high stockings and chunky platform clogs. Or of neat pleated wool dresses worn over a mesh top. Where the collection lost steam for me was around those baby doll dresses and other printed pieces. It's not that I didn't like them, but when you look at them compared to the amazing printed pieces that were done for Spring they don't quite stack up. Still, the dresses especially were cute, especially the yellow one. The final dresses were a complete dud in my book. Still, the collection has a great energy to it; tough but still pretty, boyish but feminine, cute but sexy. I never pictured myself liking the gradual return we've been seeing towards the early-90s, but I guess if it's done with a bit of humor and irony then it can actually be kind of appealing.
all images from style.com