MILAN – Moncler Gamme Bleu designer Thom Browne brought the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race to Milan, with his Spring/Summer 2016 men's line that was centered around the world of rowing.
Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 crescendoed overhead and the anticipation grew, as throngs of clean-cut fellows in polo shirts and knee-high socks marched gracefully around two eight-person shells.
Acting the part, the models grouped together and pretended to discuss their strategy, as they opened their gym bags and dressed up over their uniforms.
The team members started off with cuffed seersucker shorts, knit ties, and blazers, then worked their way up to outer wear and rain hats – until after almost too much anticipation – they were dressed with enough layers that they risked sinking to the bottom of the Thames.
With this collection, Browne's aim was to present stripes in all different ways – from seersucker to candy cane and from pinstripes to vertical B&B wallpaper-looking strokes. The result was a beach-to-evening-wear collection with ensembles that work for a beach party on Nantucket or a summer wedding in Newport Beach.
Browne also reworked the down-filled jacket that Moncler introduced in the 50s and evolved it into something sartorial rather than overly technical.
As with many Gamme Bleu shows, Browne is successful in transforming the traditional fashion show into a competitive arena and reminding the crowd of the poetry of competitive sport and battle.
With a collection fit for the ultimate prepster, Browne demonstrated that his glory days are still ahead of him.