NYFW diary: Proenza Schouler heads east, Michael Kors goes north, and Marchesa channels Joan of Arc

Proenza Schouler Fall 2012, Photography by Peter Stigter; Michael Kors Fall 2012
Proenza Schouler Fall 2012, Photography by Peter Stigter; Michael Kors Fall 2012

Nothing like a surefire collection to make stock market bells ring, right? At Michael Kors’ Fall 2012 showing—the first since his company went public in December—he pulled out all the stops to make the registers go ka-ching. The celeb-filled front row, including Jessica Alba, Stacy Keibler, Anjelica Huston, and Debra Messing (and me, in case you were wondering), oohed and ahhed over the heritage-style buffalo-check skirts, overcoats, and capes, the sequined flapper evening gowns, and the ultra-glam layered furs. The designer’s colour of the season, red, was particularly winning on a retro tailored overcoat combo’d with removable fur collar that was elongated to one side. It was that Bay-blanket feel but double the luxe.

And the luxe continued later that day at J. Mendel, where Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen held court in the front row to take in a parade of sumptuous degradé white furs and red-carpet fabulousness. Some of the crispness that appeared at Mendel resurfaced later at the West Chelsea showing for Reed Krakoff. I’ve never been as beholden to strict leather cuts as the rest of my generation seem to be, but the butter-soft long and lean outerwear he paired with tight fur collars had me saying “Heeey!”

Then, for more show stopping with Marchesa at the Palm Court in the Plaza Hotel—no big deal. The liner notes referenced a William-Adolphe Bouguereau painting, “A Soul Brought to Heaven,” and that painting certainly references my reaction to the show. Less literal frills (save for a few fantasy dresses with skirts in epic proportions) than usual and more attention to the kind of Met-worthy details thrill upon closer inspection—each piece blended elements of Joan of Arc (think armour-like shells, gold-plated hem feathers á la McQueen’s final collection), with such lightness (strategically placed feathers and floral appliqués) that I actually felt lucky to be in the same room. How’s that for a critical review? Not.

And then—finally—for the show we’d all been waiting for, it was over to a garage in the west 20s for Proenza time, starring Jack, Laz, and the most perfect creations in the world! Seriously though, I was so happy to have gotten an invite that I could have kissed it all night long as I waited for the show to start. The heavy beats began, and it was on. Stomping models with slick-straight hair worked crazy leather wide legs (to say it was a 20-inch circumference would not exaggerate), stiff, perforated-looking button-downs that did up on an angle, cobalt and blood-orange grid-woven leathers, new takes on Ryan Gosling’s infamous Drive jacket, exquisitely woven Asian-inspired brocades, and the most unbelievable varsity-meets-shearling leather jacket I’ve seen in my life. And the saving starts now…