02/16/2012 12:32 EST | Updated 04/17/2012 05:12 EDT

Proenza Schouler puts twist on Fashion Week trends: white pants, summery fabrics

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Proenza Schouler presented a new collection of straightforward clothes that not only include the trends that emerged at New York Fashion Week but tweaked them with fresh and modern twists.

It's as if designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez chose to highlight only the trends the cool girl would wear, and that allowed them to be a little sharper in executing military influences and use of leather in their collection.

They opened their preview Wednesday night with a series of looks that reversed what one might think about the style seasons: There were white pants and dresses, cotton-poplin jacquard fabrics and an overall crispness that is so often associated with summer.

But if those things look so good, why not wear them on Labour Day? Or Thanksgiving? They certainly made the case with shift dresses and jackets with chunky hardware and asymmetrical lines.

The rest of the runway was more traditional for autumn: black, crimson and chestnut dominated the palette. The leather that's been everywhere in these seasonal previews for stylists, editors and retailers sometimes had a cracked finish here, or it was woven for a novel effect that showed fine craftsmanship and allowed for lots of colour without being too bold for a season that's been dominated by dark neutrals.

There was indeed a lot of leather, turning up as pleated suit trousers, dropped-waist dresses and a cage-style leather-lace coat. Other jackets had asymmetrical leather ties on the shoulder, which were ladylike but also next generation.

Many of the styles got extra edge from exposed, chunky zippers.

Beautiful brocade fabrics provided an elegant contrast in the final group of cocktail dresses that had additional embroidery of birds as decoration.


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