Browneian. Thom Browne Pre-Fall 2023

At first glance, Thom Browne‘s pre-fall 2023 collection has a much more sober spirit than spring, with its shades of navy and gray, and its more typically Browneian silhouettes. But Thom’s clothes typically reward close inspection – and you’ll find humor in them too. See the intarsia’d double-breasted coat in which a lifeboat full of sailors is dwarfed by the giant sperm whale, or the tailored skirt suit in a wallpaper print depicting the final battle at sea between Captain Ahab and Moby Dick. On the accessories front, Hector the bag has made some new friends in the form of not just the victorious whale, but also the Pequod, the doomed ship. About this season’s silhouettes. Though there’s a’60s-short shift or two, Browne’s instinct was to cut his tailoring lean and long, often layering pants underneath skirt shapes to extend the line. Accessorizing the tweed separates with tweed tights created a similar elongating effect. Remarkable.

And now, have some TB magic this Christmas…

Thom Browne Fringed Herringbone Wool-tweed Blazer

Thom Browne Grosgrain-trimmed Cable-knit Cotton Polo Shirt

Thom Browne Merino Wool and Mohair-blend Mini Wrap Skirt

Thom Browne Hector Dog-Shaped Leather Belt Bag

Thom Browne Men’s Light Cotton Mid Calf 4 Bar Sock

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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Make A Scene. Thom Browne SS23

Thom Browne, as usual, delivered something more than a fashion show. His spring-summer 2023 presentation was a sort of dreamy and very dramatic performance. In his own words, it was “an American prom mixed with Cinderella mixed with the Paris Opera.” Gwendoline Christie provided a scene to remember. She emerged in a full-length, single-breasted, white-piped, braided blazer and some marvelous golden sandals with little effigies of Browne’s dachshund, Hector, at the front of each foot. After a slow mosey around the golden halls, she returned and began spritzing herself with cologne and brushing her locks. And then she told the guests what was to come: “Thom loves his little stories – and this is going to be a very long story.” And the story went a little bit like this: four rouge-lipped hot boys came and removed Christie’s dressing table, wearing quintessential Browne gray tailoring and kilts: salarymen at a Scottish reel. Then came 20 opera coats – the first in a tricolored arrangement – with collegiate numbers on each back. The came five frock coats and three swing skirts with petticoats, plus one white witch extra. And then all 20 coat wearers returned with their unders revealed: all polka-dot tailoring and pastels and peekaboo underwear. The best section ran 52 to 56, when the punks invaded the assembly. Vivienne Westwood was an unavoidable comparison, but in a Thom-Browne-kind-of-way.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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Lady Chic. Thom Browne Resort 2023

Marisa Berenson came running into Thom Browne’s salon-like spring 2023 menswear show. Farida Khelfa and Dree Hemingway followed, and Sasha Pivavorova emerged last, rushing to get to her front row seat. The women wore fantastical suits from Browne’s resort 2023 collection, a small preview of what is being released this week, almost a month after Browne’s sexily tweeded guys hit the catwalk. “I knew the collections were connected,” Browne said, “but I didn’t realize how well it was going to work.” The women had the kind of bravado required to pull off a mannish floral jacquard blazer or a pastel color-blocked midi skirt suit. “They are women who have lived interesting lives,” Browne said of his muses, who also include artist Anh Duong and photographer Cate Underwood. “Accomplished, strong, and iconic in their own way.” That’s the Browne promise: even for those of us who live the most normal of existences, his clothes offer the opportunity to feel extraordinary and unique. There’s no way to slip into a white suit embroidered with children’s storybook scenes and not experience an almost instant mood lift or to pack your things into a giant sunflower backpack and not smile. This season, Browne has supersized some of his proportions and continues to play with pleated skirts, allowing his sometimes overly strict vision to attract people with different body types and ways of life. Still, the classics are always Browne’s favorites. “It’s true to what I did 20 years ago and it still feels so new and strong,” he said. “It shows there is still a way for us to go forward.” Going forward, trying new things, and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in fashion – well, that’s just the Thom Browne way. It’s no wonder that many are drawn to his unconventional approach. “The love you see in these pictures,” he said, “was free.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Don’t forget to follow Design & Culture by Ed on Instagram!

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