Thursday, September 17, 2009
Proenza Schouler: The art of the Tank Dress
That says it in a word, though it's illustrated about 30 times, that's the message here this season. I would have expected there would be a bit more to sink my teeth into. Any dress,even a tank dress takes technique, but once mastered it's fine to move onto more challenging shapes. Beautiful fabrics abounded which was a welcome departure. As creative as some of these tanks were they overstated the fact. One after another they paraded down the runway. Some had cleverly attached asymmetric hems with bits of mystery peeking out below the hem. One dress, a baby doll of sorts was reminiscent of Geoffrey Beene, but that was as far as they strayed.I just didn't see what the point was.
A scuba theme was lost on me.Perhaps it was the prints which resembles the surfaces of coral and the skins of tropical fish. Sexy long sleeved tees over skirts and pants, I imagine were the illustration of this idea. I have to return to the fabrics, though. The colors and prints were a departure and were really eye catching. With their resources and considerable financing behind them I expected there would be more of a bravura line up of looks. I didn't see it.
Having just won the CFDA award for best Accessories wasn't reflected the other day, either. There wasn't a shoe or bag or belt that showed their prowess at supremacy in that field.There were basically two shoe styles done in different colors and 2 or 3 bags in a few different colors to compliment the looks they accompanied. This should have been a major show for them. The mini-film on their presentation of last season was surely inspiration to pull out all the stops and claim their place in the majors. If anything it felt as though they sat back instead of rising to the occasion.
The models were strangely bedraggled and spent looking. It takes a serious effort to make Carmen Kass look beaten and bored. She was still a little better looking than some of the other girls whose hair looked like it had fallen out between arriving backstage and hitting the catwalk.
Why the red rimmed eyes? The "party til you drop" look is not pretty and certainly not modern.There was one tank dress with an interesting drape at the neck that elevated it to Tank dress as High Art. There is a downtown cool to the collection but it's not one that truly separates them from other collections that play the hipster card.
Other than a tank or two and a couple of repetitive tee shirts over a skirts, the statement was made. These guys have ideas and something to offer, but their voices are muted behind the cacophonous hype that drowns their every step.
I'm still waiting.