For spring, Protagonist’s design team — head designer Kate Wendelborn is no longer with the brand — wanted to get back to the collection’s original raison d’être when it was founded in 2013: to create refined mix-and-match basics that blur the masculine and feminine. A white linen sleeveless jumpsuit and blue-silk chambray suiting riffed on men’s wear themes and added rich texture to the tight lineup, as did the introduction of suede outerwear and the brand’s first venture into exotics: a cropped cardigan in black croc. A pair of black nylon parkas were new for the season. Knits, done in lightweight merino wool, came in Henley and turtleneck pocket-T styles in a muted palette.
Shirting was the season’s highlight — Protagonist began as a collection of shirts, after all, before expanding to include more categories. Some tops featured subtle nods to men’s styles, such as a silk blouse inspired by a shawl-collar tuxedo blazer, and another, done in pinstripes with a tie-waist, resembled men’s pajamas.