Thom Browne took suburban, summer garden party style to the extremes. Gingham checks, whale and boats themes, dad ties and ridiculous headwear got exaggerated and couture-ed. Every sleeve is hand embroidered with the season’s motifs (like starfish or bananas), while the masks refer to old-school horrors happening in the calm, silent outskirts. Thom Browne rarely does anything usual and his creativity is far, far from the real world problems. But, noting all the absolutely fantastic craftsmanship involved in this line-up, it’s hard to look at the models struggling in killer heels, tied up with corset-like strings and strangled by all that uncomfortable excess. As Cathy Horyn wrote in her review for The Cut, it’s “silly”. Still, other than that, Browne’s spring-summer 2019 offering is full of fantastic garments to appreciate and cherish.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Thom Browne‘s debut womenswear show in Paris suggests one thing: sometimes, one collection is better than dozens of other designer line-ups. With his unique, artistic sensitivity for couture-ish ready-to-wear, Browne’s collections are not just about fancy dresses – they are entire spectacles, modern-day fairy-tales. For spring-summer 2018, the New York-based designer had “two girls dreaming of unicorns and mermaids, and all the things that little girls dream of” as initial point of departure. Indeed, there was an all-white unicorn on the runway, ‘worn’ by two models. A mermaid has also appeared, wearing a plaid coat and intricately embellished gown. But there were also fairies wearing feather-trimmed jackets, mischievous captain ladies, haunted widows and a Goddess of sun. There was something of a magical and mystical narration in the collection. It’s rare to have a walking skeleton (no, not printed, but delightfully embellished) in your fashion show. Or see a dress with an attached, silk octopus sculpture on the back, with its tentacles covering the model’s body. Another look was spun from spongy clouds of tulle, that trailed behind the model like sea-foam, as she walked down the runway.
I see no obstacles to call this is the most phenomenal collection of this Paris fashion week. Or even, of the entire season. I’m bewitched.
Collages by Edward Kanarecki.
Thom Browne does best tailoring-with-a-twist in New York, that’s sure. For resort 2018, however, the designer decided to leave surrealism for the main collection and rather focused on some of his most empowering looks to date. Those intriguingly cut suits, mid-lenght pleated skirts, cropped pants are elevating the meaning of corporate dress-code to another dimension. Crisp, white shirt is Browne’s brand essential, so no wonder why nearly every single look has something to do with it. But the Thom Browne woman isn’t only a lover of not-that-ordinary uniforms. Let’s not forget it’s a resort. A splash of yellow, blue and red is warmly welcomed in form of shirtdresses and light blazers. The designer has your back for black-tie events, too: PVC pencil skirt with a matching jacket; trompe l’oeil gown with over-sized shoulders; remarkably big, fur coat in deep black (of course). Love it all.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.