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Proenza Schouler Introduces Summery Silks

16 May 2007 4,065 views 2 Comments

I admit: this is from the Proenza Schouler for Target line. I also admit that when someone asks me who designed this dress, I omit those last two words. To be fair, no one I know actually knows who Proenza Schouler is, so really, does it matter at all?

I was very excited when I saw that top-name designers were making collections for Target. Affordable couture. Of course I didn’t expect it to have the same luxury as the real deal does, but stylish clothing and pretty good quality for these prices is exciting. In recent years I have noticed an odd trend in fashion: trendy, popular clothing stores providing mediocre quality at offensive prices. H&M, American Eagle, A&F, the Gap… I am always surprised at how places like this get away with charging what they charge for the quality they offer.

I have been checking out the Target designer collections since they began. Ultimately, I have been extremely disappointed with the fit and selection. Also disappointing is that the designers seem to offer one collection before disappearing and being replaced with a new designer (Mizrahi being the exception, but after his initial collection he only seems to be offering suiting).

While in Target one day, doing my usual household shopping, I strolled by the women’s department and noticed an advertisement for the Proenza Schouler collection. The model was wearing this dress, and it looked really cute – just the kind of style that would work on me. Some digging through the racks produced the dress.

I spent a good 10 minutes in the dressing room, debating with my reflection. The dress was cute. I loved the style, I loved the pattern, I loved the silk. The cut left something to be desired though: beneath the cross-front sash, the fabric created a little paunch, right over the stomach. Definitely not the place one needs extra paunch.

I kept going back and forth on whether or not to buy it. On the one hand, it was only $40. I loved that it was a good-quality silk – with 100% silk lining. And really, it looked good on… except for that damn fabric paunch. I always tell myself not to buy things I only kind-of like, to hold out because just around the corner will be something that I really love. But it was only forty freaking dollars.

I ended up buying the dress, and I’m glad I did. The first time I wore it, I spent about 20 minutes styling myself. I finally figured it out: rather than tying the thick, stiff sash in the back, I wrapped it around and tied it up front. The new obi-style sash worked well with the short kimono-style sleeves. And tying the belt up front flattened out most of the fabric paunch and obscured what was left.

I got rave reviews on the dress. It gets rave reviews from me as well. I felt very comfortable in the dress, both physically (have I mentioned recently how much I love this silk?) and mentally (it wasn’t fussy, and I felt appropriately dressed).

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  • chrissie said:

    It’s nice to see some of the affordable PS pieces work so well, that color is great on you and the fit is very flattering. All of the “cons” you mention about buying PS Target pieces, are all due to its mass production of course. But you proved those cons wrong, that is a very pretty piece. And you’re right, who the f cares where you bought it, it still has the PS name on it.