Monday, June 27, 2016

BEAUTY: Clothing--Thom Browne

A Thom Browne show is always a spectacle. And as his show is usually scheduled at the end of fashion week--and indeed fashion month--it means that magazine editors, show-goers, and fashion journalists are by that time a little more than burnt out. But this SS '17 Thom Browne show at Paris Fashion Week seemed to perk everyone up. Its lighthearted, comical theme made for a buoyant end to the season and had attendees smiling, giggling, and applauding with glee.

After many seasons of somber grey tones, whether Fall-Winter or Spring-Summer, Browne took inspiration this time from surfing and created a candy-colored collection of his classic tailored suit hybridized with board shorts and wet suits! The runway show started with a typical Thom Browne device: models entered the show space--a square of glittering black sand and monochrome palm trees--in neoprene suits reminiscent of wet suits with the exception of scale: these oversized bags contained each individual look. For his own shows as well as for the collections he creates for Moncler Gamme Bleu, Browne usually has the full compliment of models come out in some sort of covering only to be revealed one at a time during the show. To the accompaniment of models dressed as tropical birds and one single black shark circling the runway area, the models--white-faced with sunscreen, white bathing caps on their heads, and hands covered in white gloves--stripped out of their bags to show the delightful variations on the classic little grey suit Browne first designed some twelve years ago.

Jackets embellished with fabric flowers--a three dimensional version of the classic Hibiscus print found on board shorts--and jacquards featuring sharks (a pun on the little spouting whale seen on "preppy" shirts and trousers) and sunrises (or -sets) were a prelude to a set of hilarious one-pieces printed with trompe--l'œil three piece suits. For the finale, Browne brought out a cavalcade of singlets in wild florals and stripes with matching surf boards!

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