September 06, 2007 New York
The show began with a short black dress topped off by both a hemp waistcoat and a second, more abbreviated vest. Following on were a number of looks with a vaguely military air, complete with cavalry hats by fashion's new favorite milliner, Albertus Swanepoel. From there, the clothes took on a more tribal feel. Black-and-white striped jackets were layered over shirtdresses and long-sleeved tees, and the bodice of one dress was beaded in a zebra pattern. Altogether, things were less posh and more street than last season, and, for that reason, the collection seemed truer to the duo's own personal style.
Hernandez and McCollough said they wanted to explore the idea of contrasts, "something organic and man-made, primitive and refined." And thanks to the fact that Valentino Fashion Group bought a 45 percent stake in the company in July, Proenza Schouler can afford to really up the ante on the refinement front. The gold-leaf silk pieces that closed the paradeLiya Kebede's double-breasted sleeveless coat-dress was the bestare as luxe as it gets, and will no doubt require a socialite's or celebrity's hefty wallet. Demi Moore swooped out after the show with, count them, four bodyguards in tow. The boys should ask to borrow a couple of those: There are going to be plenty of eager ladies elbowing to wear these clothes.