Sartorial taxidermy was the phrase that popped to mind upon seeing the Thom Browne fall/winter 2014 menswear staging on Sunday night. The “nature morte” set up of a forest glade and a bunch of woodland creatures all wrapped up in grey menswear fabrics was slightly more disturbing then it was magical.
What sort of male fairytale would Browne be spinning this time?
It started off to be a pretty typical one. Where the models wore variations on tailored tweed raw edged suits. They too were swathed shades of gray fabrics cut from traditional menswear patterns like Prince of Wales, herringbone and Donegal. Each one finished off with some impressing animal inspired headgear. So a model wearing a double breasted windowpane patterned suit would have a spirit animal baseball hat with deer antlers sprouting from the top. Or a long dove gray jacket worn with both a pleated skirt and cuffed pants would finish off in a face-effacing mask with bunny ears.
Then it was time for mother nature to take over in the form of outsized pieces covered in leaf motifs. Even the models faces were camouflaged by painted-on foliage. In this section of the show, voluminous coats with backpacks built in at the back, bulbous riding pants and wide shorts worn with matching leaf leggings were the story.
This flora and fauna show was rather emblematic of the work Browne does. It’s OTT on the runway, but take away all the bells and whistles and blown up “editorial only” pieces and the clothes actually do hold up in the real world.