The king of kook, Thom Browne. Just as his clothes play with flaunting the norms, the women that this NY based designer evokes in his collections are worshipped for the same: the sexually ambiguous Marlene Deitrich chuffing a smoke, Zelda Fitzgerald on a mixed bag of meds and Liza Minnelli swinging a chair over her head. Like his heroines he seems fascinated with stripping propriety from accepted societal rules and regulations but of course being a designer, the authority he chooses to challenge are the two parents called size and fit. Maxi pinstripes, giant pearls, shrunken trousers, tiny bow-ties and Browne’s signature tri-stripe were all present. Added to his roster came two jackets with large, raised shoulders giving the impression of a disappearing neck. Let’s call it the frightened turtle-neck. Where some designers could arguably devote entire careers to the beautification of a woman’s neck and slender shoulders, Browne says to hell with it, let’s get rid of it. All. Doesn’t this guy know the meaning of propriety? “Propriety?” asked Barbra Streisand the also kooky heroine of the comedy movie What’s Up Doc? “Noun. Conformity to established standards of behaviour or manners, suitability, rightness, or justice. See "etiquette." And so it is; when one enters the house of Thom Browne it is to become involved in a parlour game of sartorial etiquette. It’s all a bit bonkers really but hey, the bags were fabulous.
(words: Sarah Hay)