Front Row

New York Fashion Week FW21 – Proenza Schouler Bridges the Gap Between Challenge and Optimism

The roster of the FW21 Proenza Schouler digital show included, among other girls, Ella Emhoff, American model, artist, fashion designer, and the stepdaughter of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris. It was a very special one and, for that matter, the designer duo created a new URL connected to their website – check more info on

The Proenza Schouler Fall Winter 2021 collection presents a complete wardrobe created to comfort, inspire, and empower the modern-day woman. As a new year presents familiar challenges brightened by a newfound sense of optimism, the collection suggests a similar duality by mixing sharp, structured tailoring with soft, enveloping knitwear and thoughtful handmade elements.

Cutting attitude into the cloth itself, dresses and knits have been cut on generous curves to collect and gather when worn. Knitwear punctuates the collection, first seen in chunky cable-knit cardigans worn over tonal grey mélange wrap skirts, and later, showing up as elongated, bias-cut dresses rendered in warm greys and loden greens. Similar shapes appear in black and white technical crepes and are accented with abstract crochet shapes and straps, a nod to the exploration of craft synonymous with the brand. Leather continues to play an important role, this time seen in a supple intarsia nappa shirtdress and a padded midnight lambskin trench. Tie-dye dresses show a new, restrained expression of the technique and animated with exaggerated fringed sleeves and billowing full hems. A sense of playfulness is evoked through the season’s prints, which include abstracted toiles in red, gray, and yellow, which bellow in long-sleeved matte jersey dresses and reappear discreetly under the season’s newest suit. High lapelled, single-breasted, and cut away, the seasons suiting is cut in graphic black, optic white, and deep raisin technical wool and coupled with lush double-faced cashmere coating, suggesting a return to a form of dressing that emphasizes ease and practicality without ever abandoning a sense of luxury and sensual, tactile pleasure.

Accessories are created with a similar sensibility. The new Pipe Bag is introduced in a lux bonded calfskin, as is the new XL Tobo Tote in intarsia leather. Established handbag families such as the Rolo and the Harris reappear in fresh seasonal colors and in puffy, quilted lambskin. Square toed padded slippers ground the collection when cut in black, loden, and optic white glove leather, or create a visual counterpoint when rendered in lush pony with sculptural hardware. Long silhouettes puddle to the floor at times, revealing the season’s new adaptation of the popular Rondo slipper, this time in blond and black Tuscan shearling.

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