Spring/Summer 2016 Proenza Schouler

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Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez remain in pole position as New York fashion’s golden boys.  In a city where often the strength of a collection is in its wearable desirability, Proenza Schouler are relied upon to provide a dash of excitement, the fizz of the new.

And they did not let their fans down this season. Seated on white foam benches in disjointed curves the audience were treated to a fast-paced show of imaginative deconstruction. The majority of the looks came in black or white or a mixture of both accessorised by dangling metal leaf earrings and octagonal pillar heeled shoes.

Working primarily in stiff cotton jacquard and softer crepe viscose the longer length waistcoats and dresses were often cut away dramatically at the shoulder and sometimes the waist. This was balanced by higher necklines and loose pants to prevent any suggestion of the skin on display being overtly sexy.

Anyone looking for a plain jacket, skirt it simple coat will have looked in vain but it is Proenza’s strength that although these show pieces appeared relatively unwearable they also worked as a convincing whole. At the end a collection of beautiful feather-linked dresses appeared along with woven skirts laced with heavy beads adding an exoticism to the cleverness.

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Autumn/Winter 2015-16 Chloe

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Clare Waight Keller dedicated her show to International Women’s Day on March 8 and the notes came with a little anonymous self-empowering poem that she’d signed off with. Because if there’s one thing Chloe is all about, it’s embracing and celebrating women, femininity.

Today was a kind of greatest hits of the label that laboured its efforts in the Seventies: skinny little scarves tied around the necks of plunging V-neck maxi dresses; wide-lapel peacoats; natty waistcoats and billowing blouses; chemise-y sheer frills on little perky dresses and later those that fell loose and languid. Coats were substantial and solid investments, they always were here. And corduroy and denim got brief, but era-ticking, outings as Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams so easily summed up the mood: romantic, nonchalant, just as the way the Chloe girl is supposed to be. She’s young but sexy, feminine but strong and likes her masculine tailoring just as much as something delicate and pale.

In a fashion landscape saturated by the Seventies right now though, it of course didn’t feel new. But that wasn’t really ever going to be the takeaway from this and true Chloe girls – or even just those in search of a good coat or pretty dress – won’t mind in the slightest.

“Live life to express, not to impress” – just like the poem said.

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