Hamish Bowles on Marc Versus Proenza, More


We've been stalking Vogue's eighteen-foot-tall editor-at-large André Leon Talley to no avail. Last season he gave us a miraculous assessment of the fall season, saying designers like J. Mendel and Marchesa had "crashed into a radar of American elegance." This year, he was feeling underprepared. "More clothes! I need to see more clothes!" he told us at Diane Von Furstenberg. "Catch me later!" But sadly, later never came. So instead we've had to content ourselves with getting the end-of-season rundown from a no less articulate, but slightly less excitable Vogue commentator, Hamish Bowles, who we bumped into at the CFDA book party at Bergdorf Goodman.

What trends are you seeing?
I’ve seen so much intense, fabulous color. And [I've been seeing] this idea of structured, almost military tops with much more romantic full-bodied skirts. A lot of stripes, a lot of ticking. A lot of cardigans as the new jacket.

Any troubling trends?
I edit those out.

Who will you be calling in?
I was on a shoot for the first few days, so with that first major caveat, of what I’ve seen, I loved Rodarte. I loved Phillip Lim. I loved Oscar. I thought Marc was very provocative. Carolina had some beautiful things. I thought Proenza was very authoritative.

Is Proenza about to give Marc Jacobs a run for his money as the coolest American designer?
They’re very strong. But I think Proenza has a very focused identity. Marc has such extraordinary range, and he’s been in the game so long. He’s so chameleonlike. His signature, in a way, is that he doesn’t have a signature. —Jada Yuan