Sunday, July 1, 2012

BEAUTY: Clothing--Thom Browne

Thom Browne is always unique and provocative with his collections. Of course once the individual pieces end up in stores--a single pin-striped jacket for example, or, say a pair of plaid trousers--they seem more approachable. But his pieces start in shows that are usually theatrical extravaganzas of costume (as opposed to "clothing") in inventive venues that truly play into the spirit of the collection. He knows how to work an inspirational idea, and how to massage it...and frankly, he must ply these seemingly innocent ideas with alcohol, and get them drunk because they end up doing things they would never do sober!

And the '13 Spring Summer collection Browne showed at Paris Fashion Week is sure to provoke some extreme reactions. The collection was shown outside in a performance art presentation; the space prior to the show was patrolled by silver satyrs (played by gymnasts on stilts). Once in place in their silver shoes which were affixed to each individual square, the models (in silver paint) dropped their silver slinky tubes to reveal a strange, comical, clownish-Cirque du Soleil-like collection of robots in riotous 70s technicolor plaid or prints featuring a kind of candy-colored Holly Hobby-esque patchwork, or whales and lobsters! The finishing touch was the Jan Brady knee socks!

I can't help but flash on Woody Allen's robot sequence in his classic film "Sleeper" when I see these models in their sunglasses (shaped like Woody's) and silver swim caps! Most likely, these individual pieces of clothing on their own will not seem so extreme. But in the end, who really cares if it sells--that is for Mr. Browne to worry about. The fun part was the vision, the execution and performance, and the fact of its existence. Just look, marvel, laugh, and enjoy...

Watch the Thom Browne video below to ooh and ahh at the incredible jewel-encrusted lobster and mirrored whale details!

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