The Mad Genius Behind My Favorite Collection At Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Spring 2014 has seen many great designers, but none of the shows I’ve seen this week can compare to the Thom Browne show. His aptitude for intricacy is unmatched and seems more like couture than ready-to-wear. From a construction perspective the sliced latex, origami layered protrusions on the shoulders, hips, and breasts, and the extended sleeves made with lattice cut cotton were magnificent and unique. But aside from that Thom Browne’s collection was also on trend.
At nearly every show this season, there was a look that was draped, coated or otherwise completely white minus some latex painting that was in a blueish pattern creating a flow blue pattern resembling china from the Regency era. Thom took the white-out trend to the next level and created his collection exclusively form this purest of shades. The absence of color made it an instant historical reference for the Browne label and puts him in the category of designers who can predict (by affluence or knowledge) the direction that fashion will move.
I am gravely disappointed that I missed this show and will pour every ounce of effort to attend his show in the future. I have said it before, but I feel something similar inside me when I look at his clothes. Something that I have only ever felt from seeing certain (incredible is too shallow a word but) moving, shows in the past designed by some of fashion’s greats. Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Riccardo Tisci and last but not least Olivier Rousteing of Balmain Paris who is really more of an adolescent savant but I still place him in this category of great designers.
Thom Browne originally started his design career in the field of menswear where he worked in a tailor shop and learned the basics. Certainly his business degree from the University of Notre Dame wasn’t going to help him shorten all those sleeves of his now infamous menswear suiting silhouette. Fortunately he later created his first womenswear collection for Fall 2011 (you can check out his spring 202 show here, or the 2011 womenswear show on Style.com here). His career in menswear was already so over-the-top that all of the fashion industry came out to support and witness his new found passion. The show got mixed reviews, but I thought it was utterly brilliant. His take on classic utilitarianism meeting religion may not have been a completely original idea, but the way it was done was far from mundane and demonstrated uniqueness on a level that is all his own.
Thom often takes elements from his childhood or his past experiences and puts his time and knowledge into moulding them into what I consider works of art. Obviously so does the rest of the fashion world as he is snatching up awards left and right and has become the talk of the town in many fashion relevant cities. But that’s not all who think his designs are fantastic… Michelle Obama wore one of his designs on Inauguration Day, Monday, January 21 2013.
This proves Browne has the determination and skill to create something so conceptual and then do a 180°, and be able to design a coat and dress that can be fit for the first lady on Inauguration Day. Wow. I saw this collection streaming in on my instagram feed for the first time and I was SO excited. I have so much hope for Thom’s future and can’t wait until his next show. Hopefully I can get an interview backstage and let you know exactly where he was coming from and where these clothes are meant to be worn and by whom. Since… the first lady may find them a bit outlandish… but then again…