In the great empty hull of the North Pavilion of New York’s Javits Center, Proenza Schouler floated out a sublime collection for Spring 2004. Changing course from fall's more structured shapes, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez loosened things up, describing their new silhouette as "long and lean on top and full at the bottom, but all with a weightlessness and airiness." To that end, silk charmeuse voile and gauze were worked up into flowing flapper dresses and breezy skirts paired with scoop-necked boyfriend sweaters worn down low over the hips. The twenties were also referenced with ropes of H. Stern pearls and black-and-white tweed jackets which nodded to Chanel.
To a soundtrack (by Brooklyn art/design collective Lansing-Dreiden) that evoked an appropriately nautical ebb and flow, summer classics bobbed up consistently throughout the collection. Canvas and seersucker were made up into sleek pants and highly covetous shrunken jackets. Eye-catching bathing suits and tank tops, in electric blue and mint, reprised the form-defining lines of the bustiers in the duo’s fall collection but with a bright, sporty twist. And for rainy days, there was a patent-leather, sequined raincoat so yellow as to challenge the sun to come out. Other highlights included a short black patent jacket, prepster staples like button-downs and shorts enlivened with a custom print, and a suede jacket in Nantucket red.
Makeup director Tom Pecheux described his brief for the show as "sporty but fragile," which could well be applied to the entire collection—establishing Proenza Schouler firmly at the helm of a stylish vessel on a strong course.