Familiar challenges brightened by a newfound sense of optimism. This is what the Proenza Schouler Fall Winter 2021 collection is built on the basis of. Showing last week virtually at New York Fashion Week, the brand presented a collection for the modern day woman through Schouler's signature lens of clean tailoring married with off-beat silhouettes, realised in the setting of bold concrete, dark spaces, and softened lenses.
In the video, which premiered via the NYFW website, emerging face Meadow Walker walks purposefully down a concrete, industrial walkway wearing a pristine black wool blazer and tailored skirt. The tone is direct and assured, the energy closely resembling what it might be like to walk down a street in lower Manhattan at any given moment in a pre-pandemic reality. With a Schouler sensibility omnipresent, it is hard to find fault amid the punctual and precise nature of the collection, which bends to make way for softer moments amid the sharpness of lapels and long overcoats.
The softness is reiterated in knitwear, which punctuates the collection. Chunky cable knit cardigans worn over tonal grey mélange wrap skirts, and form-fitting, bias cut dressed in cozy greys and forest greens. Craft is, as always, explored through technical shapes. In FW21, we see it in the inclusion of crotchet straps, crepe fabric, abstract toiles in playful colourways, and cut-out tailoring.
For accessories, The new Pipe Bag is introduced in bonded calf skin, as is the new XL Tobo Tote in intarsia leather, a nod to the go-forth woman. Reiterations of the classic Rolo and the Harris appear in fresh seasonal colours and in puffy, quilted lambskin. Square toed padded slippers ground the collection cut in black, green, and optic white glove leather with sculptural hardware, acting as a subtle reference-point for the collection at large.
It is clear in FW21 that Proenza Schouler has created an ode to the times. The liminal space, the moments of yearning for polish with the reality of needing comfort. FW21 exists for the instances in between. You can watch the full film, below.