First, I will admit that my thoughts on the Proenza Schouler Large Leather-Lined PS1 are probably more complex than they should be, and definitely more complex than would indicate optimal mental stability. I’ve been carrying a Large PS1 as my everyday bag for a year, though, and in that time, I’ve formed a couple of opinions. (Who, me? Opinions? I know you’re all shocked.)
If you’ve owned a PS1, or even spent any time examining one in a store, you probably understand why the brand initially chose a jacquard textile instead of leather or suede as its default lining. The PS1 has pockets. Pockets on pockets on pockets: a main compartment with a large zipper pocket inside, a front section under the flap with a magnetic snap closure, a huge zipper compartment between the front pouch and the main compartment, and another huge zipper pocket at the back. Pockets mean extra layers of material, and that many pockets means that things can get bulky and heavy quite quickly without a judicious use of textiles. For the original construction, a lightweight woven was the only way to go from a functional standpoint, and it surely helped keep the price for the large at $1,995. Even when the medium PS1 received a $100 price increase (from $1,595 to $1,695) earlier this year, the large didn’t budge.
As you can see above, the introduction of a leather interior means the loss of the two largest zipper pockets, at the front and back exterior of the main compartment. The leather also turns the interior zipper pocket into a smaller, semi-detached pouch. The chartreuse interior is beautiful, of course, as are the ways that the color was carried throughout the design – the underside of the shoulder strap, for example – but I’m not sure it’s worth the functional sacrifice, particularly for the elevated price point of $2,515.
There’s also the question of how the leather affects the bag’s appearance. One of my favorite things about my PS1 has been the bag’s easy slouch; not only does it add to the bag’s downtown-cool look, but it makes the bag comfortable to carry because of its ability to mold to your body. This all-leather PS1, on the other hand, looks like it’s a bag for someone with a more refined, traditional sense of style. That’s neither criticism nor praise; it’s just a different bag for a slightly different consumer. There’s some indication that Proenza intends to spin off new versions of the PS1 in the near future – this redesigned bag, plus a pared-down Proenza Schouler Courier, based on the PS1, which will debut with Pre-Fall 2013. There’s no indication that the old bags are going anywhere, but your PS1 options are about to get a whole lot more diverse. This one’s available now for $2,515 via Net-a-Porter.