As always at a Thom Browne show the mise-en-scène plays a major role in setting the mood for the designer’s OTT collections. This time he took the fashion world to church.
There were candles and incense burning, a raised catwalk covered in rich red fabric, pew seating and prie-dieu’s placed strategically along the edges of the runway for some wayward priest- their faces veiled in lace and fingers dipped in Lorde’s black nails - to kneel in contrition throughout the show. When the blaring pre show Chamber music finally stopped, one quick witted gentleman bellowed “thank God!” to the great amusement of the gathered guests.
And that is really the fine line that Browne now walks in fashion. Where comical and craftsmanship meet up so that each show finds the clothing battling for prominence over its environment. This time the clothing came out on top.
Anyone who has seen Browne’s work in a retail environment, say at the new Dover Street Market store that just opened in New York, can attest to his talents as a tailor and that he does offer clients real clothes, not just costumes. Look no further then First Lady Michelle Obama as proof of that fact.
More then in his previous signature womenswear shows, the righteous path to wearability was easier to perceive this season. Putting aside the exaggerated demi lune sleeves on jackets and the odd bulbous skirts, there were many impressive pieces in this cohesive collection. Some of the more fascinating garments- from those that had real world viability- were the impressive stiff panel skirts or dresses that were carved with a scalpel in undulating curves so they broke slightly open like wings as the models moved. All the velvet devoré pieces in leaf patterns that echoed those seen in the menswear show will certainly fly off the shelves. And one gilded grey flannel hourglass jacket and matching skirt deserves to exist outside of the pages of glossy magazines. It was rapturously exquisite.
It is hard to imagine this show not converting quite a few new disciples to the Thom Browne faith. Now let's see if he can keep them loyal with his next collection.