Proenza Schouler is in a growth phase: With new openings, the brand’s freestanding store count will come to eight in 2015. There are even more shop-in-shops. That’s a lot of real estate to fill, and Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough say that it’s changing the way they approach their pre-collections. “With new stores, consistency becomes important,” McCollough pointed out. Pre-Fall offered them a chance to revisit the hits from Spring, dig further into their back catalog, and begin testing out ideas they’ll put on the runway for next Fall in February. The results were good. First, the hits: The wait-listed deconstructed argyle sweaters from last season morphed into special, woven plaid tops, with deep diagonal swags of fringe falling past the knees. Proenza Schouler helped set the trend for full mid-calf skirts when they showed their metallic foil versions a year ago. Here, the same shape was whipped up in easier-to-wear jersey knit. They look like they could be this season’s big sellers. Looking forward, Hernandez and McCollough like a “long and liquid” silhouette. The plaid-on-plaid T-shirt and trouser “suit” worn with another plaid knit underneath was a bit too full-on. But the designers made a convincing case for the covered-up proportions with a long cable-knit sweaterdress buttoned up the back over one of those pleated knit skirts, and a long floral print blouse belted over a drapey fil coupe skirt.

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