American designer Thom Browne has become famous for mise en scéne when it comes his fashion shows, nobody ever knows what to expect. During Paris mensweek in January he presented models, all resembling Johnny Depp’s madhatter, standing eerily around a decadent dinner table. On February 13 in New York and for Moncler Gamme Bleu (Browne is creative director for the Italian brand) fifty or more dancers dressed in the ski-themed collection performed a seven minute dance routine in Grand Central Station before running off, all cheering and waving arms, into the night.
Today in New York Public Library, journalists and buyers were welcomed by female models dressed as nuns in wimples and Browne's favourite model twins, Brian and Travis Davenport praying at the altar. ‘How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria’ from The Sound Of Music rang through the air.
So what are Thom Browne’s clothes all about? In a nutshell, casual suits. In more detail, Browne’s signature is the suit that stops above the shoe, wrist and derriere ie. the shrunken shape that shows off colours of accessories. Off kilter and always with the red, white and blue three stripe present, it’s preppy and eccentric.
Today was the debut show for women’s wear and the Thom Browne girl is no less any kooky. It was plaid a go-go styled with stripey shirts, argyle prints and prim mid-heel lace-ups and Mary-Janes. The art of clashing plaids is something Browne does well. Arms and skirts were structured to give a bell jar shape infact the models wearing the more creative ensembles looked like little plaid dolls in the shape of carriage clocks. It’s fun to see a designer go rogue with ideas and structure during New York fashion week, a freedom that’s usually exercised by young designers in London. As the final look (no.38) toured the room, a cable knit skirt, not unlike a cricket jumper with a Humpty Dumpty overcoat, many could wonder ‘who’s really going to wear this?’ but then of course the next thought, given the context, is that we passed that territory aeons ago.
Soundtrack: The Sound Of Music, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria