Fuck a peplum! Is the thing Proenza Schouler seemed to say for Spring, a flounce that connotes the ultimate femininity but, ironically, looks malformed on those of us with hips. How to solve it? Give it cut-outs and let it lie gently below them, the waistline as hinge and, hey, a little give for when you’ve eaten too much caviar (only eating the caviar because it matches the embellishment on the gown, TBH).
Who would wear such things? The answer includes not just Proenza’s endless stream of super cool muses, including the East Village alpha Chloe Sevigny, but also any lovers with a flair for the dramatic, up to and including flamenco stars, Taxi Driver stans, and yours truly.
My utmost respect to anyone who nabs these looks first for the red carpet. There’s an idea about deconstruction here that proves it doesn’t need to be about destruction, but about reimagining common precepts of beauty and structure. That gauzy ruffled sleeve on a forest green eyelet dress, with sleeves that resemble gauntlets, is so fucking thoughtful. They offset the power of those looks with sensuous feathered lattice cascading down a silk shift.
Everytime I go thrift shopping in my hometown in Wyoming, I see some variation on gathered ‘90s silk pants such as the ones in the middle and contemplate them, but they always end up looking like a yoga experiment gone awry (or: an awkward PTA uniform). Jack and Lazaro’s skill with draping avoids that and lo and behold, it’s a fall flare that doesn’t make me feel depressed.
That gown on the right, its gathered cutouts placed at neglected parts of the body, is a revelation. Who the hell is wearing this to the Emmys this weekend? Seriously, who? (I know, I know... Chloe.)
Conversely, everyone was bummed about Public School’s debut collection for DKNY and frankly so was I—they didn’t really get at what made Donna Karan’s young and definitive ‘90s label so cool the way you’d expect the masters of cool to do so. Particularly, the idea of the pinstripe suit was boring—Cathy Horyn wrote that it was “comparable to ordering a dozen boxes of Girl Scout cookies and winding up, somehow, with only Thin Mints,” and she ain’t never lied. But the deconstruction of the power suit she hated there is refreshing and invigorating here, because these are straight-up office separates but you wouldn’t know it unless your office was like, the MOMA.
Right now everyone’s wearing these total Brenda Walsh sleeveless dusters, double-breasted with a calf-length hem straight from 1992. That guy on the right acknowledges the trend, but again, says “fuck it” and gives itself a Cubist bass breakdown. It’s a duster freestyling on the bridge.
So many of these clothes are secretly like “fuck it” in the most precise, beautiful, flowing way. They are glorious and even better than Proenza’s last season, which was inspired by “art” but in retrospect seemed try-hard. This is not try-hard. This is easy breezy beautiful. I would wear it, if I could afford it. God bless.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Images via Getty