“Think St. Trinian’s, but for boys.”
Thom Browne is quite possibly my favourite Menswear designer, and in this collection he reminded me why I adore him. The runway was themed around his personal life, featuring family artifacts, but the looks were universal. One of the most prominent themes was youth, which was accompanied with freedom. In this collection the lines between gendered clothing were blurred, intersected and broken up. The colour palette was surprisingly limited, with neutral tones only broken by sporadic appearances of gold.
On three marble pedestals, were three pairs of shoes dipped in solid gold. The pair on the center column were Browne’s first pair of shoes as a baby, and the dipping in gold is a family tradition. Each model turned to look at this pair of shoes as they walked the runway. This made the looks feel intimate and personal.
This show was a stirring pot of themes, but each element was carefully pieced together to create one image. Out of the 45 looks, I have chosen five, including the finale, tho share my thoughts about with you.
This look incorporates the Hector (Brownes beloved dog and muse) motif in gold, against a navy blue blazer. This, combined with the full length pleated skirt is one of the first suggestions of youth in this collection, referencing traditional school uniforms. There also appears to be an underskirt, which is actually an ankle length shirt dress, worn underneath everything. We also see the shoe for this collection, which is a masculine heel. The shoe is smart and simple, and there are a variety of heels throughout the collection, including golden ones. Thom Browne pushes the limits of the standards expected from fashion.
In this look, the model is wearing a corsetted dress above a calf-length sleeveless shirt dress. The slim fit of this look makes it feminine, but the tailoring contrasts this and adds masculinity. In this look we see the mismatched socks. This references the haphazard nature of the collection and the clothes in it. We also see the heels again.
What also interests me is the running hairstyle of a simple buzzcut, which suggests hyper-masculinity,the polar opposites of the ultra-feminine clothing.
This is one of the simpler and understated looks of the collection, however we get to see the tie clearly, and the imperfect knot suggests even further that this is a uniform of sorts. What i particularly enjoy about this look is that the sleeveless top doesn’t fully unbutton, which somehow creates a level of minimalism. Again, the heels and pleated skirt offer feminine qualities, but on this particular model the tattoos give this look a punk feel.(Think St Trinians, but for boys.)
This is my second favourite look of the collection. From the pencil skirt to the ‘cape’, I think this look captures the essence of Thom Browne’s collection. While this look does break away from the youthful theme with the more mature implications of the pencil skirt and the cape. This look is unexpected and inventive, it appears as if three outfits have been copied and pasted together in photoshop, yet they all work to compliment each other. One detail I thought was particularly important in this skirt, is the crotch zipper. This shows us that this is men’s clothing, and not just a re-purposed womenswear item. This level specificity makes this collection truly shine.
The finale look was both completely surprising, yet expected. While Browne is definitely not the first person to make clothes like this, but the beauty lies in the details, for example the shoes are also split in half, with white heels at the back, and the black brogue toe. The fabric bouquet of flowers is an example of expert craftsmanship, and the tendrils of what appears to be silk add drama to the look. While this finale look is clearly more costume, than wearable fashion – it perfectly represents tradition and the freedom of gender expression.
I really really loved this collection, the high contrast Browne managed to convey, whilst keeping his colour palette limited and his silhouettes relatively simple. The detail of every outfit truly made the collection’s narrative come through.
What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
**All photos taken from Thom Browne’s website. OR here. **
I do not claim ownership of any of these photos and no copyright infringement was intended.