Proenza Schouler, Anna Sui, Nidra Devi

A weekend of rebirth from seasoned designers (Proenza Schouler, Anna Sui and Keren Craig of Nidrā Devi) who stay true to their DNA to create compelling urban elegance.

Proenza Schouler: a cool professional girl

Few designer brands are as consistently good as Proenza Schouler, which presented an excellent collection Saturday at noon at a Chelsea art gallery to considerable success.

Proenza Schouler Fall 2024 – Proenza Schouler

Previously, the collections of the Proenza Schouler duo of Jack McCollough and Lázaro Hernández were often radically different from season to season. But the last few years have been a slow evolution, as the couple eliminated extraneous elements to focus on their forte: slim, sculptural silhouettes in advanced fabrics and garments that flatter as much as they surprise.

This fall 2024 collection was easily the most blackwear the duo has ever done, a mood that contrasts with Michel Gaubert's evocative soundtrack. A brilliant edition by the great Alice Coltrane, John's widow and leader of spiritual jazz.

“We wanted to juxtapose the darker atmosphere with something poignant and beautiful. It seemed like the obvious direction,” McCollough explained.

A sense of sculpture everywhere, as blouses and blouses rose and swirled around the neck; and dresses of metallic leather or dense lace were wrapped around torsos.

“It's about beauty and enveloping layers, comfort and feeling. The fashion calendar is crazy, it's very fast-paced and the world seems to be upside down right now. So, we work by instinct. So, it is about protecting yourself in softness, beauty, luxury and sensuality,” added Lázaro.

The duo admitted to radically re-editing the collection at the last minute, stripping away a whole host of looks with heavy embroidery and prints.

“Last night we panicked a little, but in the end we decided to remove everything and focus on the shape and silhouette,” Hernandez laughed.

The result was a powerful statement and a quintessentially New York take on professional women who look great.

Anna Sui: literary renaissance

Agatha Christie style in Anna Sui, who presented her latest show inside the rare books department of The Strand, the most famous bookstore in New York.

Anna Sui fall 2024 – Anna Sui

Miss Marple mode with Londonderry tweed jackets mixed with Cotswold plaid skirts and lots of Argyle argyle looks. Although always in the sweetest tones of Sui, which this season were inspired by the potter Clarice Cliff. Hence the cinnamon, mustard, curry and rose.

Smart femme fatales in knee-length dresses made from prints selected from Virginia Woolf book covers. Before the collection kicked into high gear at the end with heartbreakingly cool metallic brocade cocktails.

Only 37 looks and not a single bad grade. Sui's post-pandemic renaissance continues.

Nidra Devi: The Rebirth of Keren Craig

F. Scott Fitzgerald used to say there was no second act in American public life, but he never met Keren Craig.

Nidra Devi fall 2024 – Nidra Devi

Like many women born in Britain but New Yorkers by inclination, Craig has made her home upstate after the pandemic. She but she returned to Manhattan with a bang this season with a collection based on trompe l'oeil presented with style in a lower Manhattan superclub.

Her new brand is called Nidra Devi and is named after the Indian goddess of sleep, as the designer suffers from insomnia. India is also where Craig produces most of her elegant eveningwear, which often artfully features detachable beads on a snap button system.

Craig covers with great flourish, from her daring tulip dresses to a series of sexy sequined looks in shades of oxblood or Klimt gold. While her Mumbai embroidered organza cocktails with pearls and beads were quite sensational, as were the silk tops skillfully paired with textured organza skirts or pants.

“I like simple, versatile pieces, so you can pair them with jeans or wear them in a variety of different ways,” Craig explained.

A decade ago, Craig was part of the Marchesa duo with then-design partner Georgina Chapman, which was derailed by the scandal engulfing the latter's husband, Harvey Weinstein.

So it was good to see Keren return with an original new collection that reflects her sense of celebratory elegance and her gift for harnessing Italian craftsmanship. Presented with a stylish look book designed by Zanna Roberts Rassi, a fellow British It Gal from downtown New York.

Keren celebrated her return with a dinner dance inside Neuehouse, just off Park Avenue South. Guests dined on scallops and dirty martinis, ideal for these outfits.

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