February 11, 2003 New York
Models with “just back from a party” silver-dipped lids paraded through the club in slouchy jackets, legging-slim pants and beautifully cut bustier tops with racing backs. The tightly focused collection was rendered in a muted palette of mostly black and charcoal, and it conjured a distinctly cinematic feel: a heroine slinking through a smoky Paris (or New York) evening, her legs lengthened by black patent stilettos extending out from under a cocoony jacket that falls suggestively off her shoulder.
What marked the collection as American was the duo’s focus on transforming basic wardrobe staples into desirable luxury items. “Long johns” were worked in black silk, and leather coats were painted white and trimmed at the collar with raccoon. Even the humble hoodie got a new life when paired with a pencil skirt and black cashmere bolero on Ann Catherine and worn, by Danielle Zinaich, under a sleeveless coat with Fred Leighton diamonds. More accessible sparkle was offered by way of Proenza Schouler’s sequin, satin and metallic gauze bustiers, which drew appreciative looks from an audience that included Isaac Mizrahi, Debbie Harry and a heavy-duty array of top editors and retailers.