Proenza Schouler Infuses '50s And Tropical Inspirations Into One Gorgeous Spring Collection

Proenza Schouler Spring 2012 New York Fashion Week.
Photo: Getty Images

Set on knubbly rust-colored shag carpeting beneath spotty retro lighting with the sounds of tribal drum beats reverberating in your rib cage, your brain sends off an alert: "I'm either in someone's era-challenged suburban basement or en route to a volcano-top party lined with tiki torches...." You grab a paper bag to help calm your panicked breathing and realize you're at a show for New York Fashion Week. (Spoiler alert: You're also delirious. Drink some water, and get it together.) You see Alexa Chung and Pharrell Williams and quickly revert back to the bag for another panic attack. If you ever lie awake at night wondering what a collection of clothes equal parts '50s and tropical inspirations would amount to, look no further than last night's reveal of the Proenza Schouler Spring 2012 collection. It sounds bizarre, but unlike most things for which that disclaimer is afforded (e.g., liver pate, tuna eyeball, chocolate-covered crickets [I'm picky, so SUE ME]), the resultant designs are quite lovely.

Proenza Schouler Spring 2012 New York Fashion Week.
Photo: Getty Images

The much-anticipated spring collection from this year's CFDA Best Womenswear Designer Award winners took tailoring cues from both '50s fashion, à la full A-line skirts with natural waistlines and knee-length hems, AND architecture, with many pieces featuring lines akin to the once-futuristic Jetsons-style bowling alleys and diners of yore. This was infused with a tropical flair via a color scheme ranging from mint to bright orange to chestnut, use of natural materials with raffia-woven skirts and wooden platforms, and a distinct attitude toward prints: exotic florals, wood-grain mimickry, and even a few tikis. WANT. EVERYTHING.

Leelee Sobieski, Alexa Chung, Pharrell Williams, and Alicia Keys attend Proenza Schouler's New York Fashion Week show.
Photo: Getty Images

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