Tuesday, September 15, 2015

In the Market Report: Thom Browne Show

Grey ‘Matters’

Photo: Marilyn Kirschner
Click on image for full size view

Going to a Thom Browne show always reminds me of that famous quote from the movie “Forest Gump”: “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get”. Of course, the same can also be said about Marc Jacobs and Miuccia Prada. The difference being of course, is that two latter designers are avowed quick change artists and they purposely go against what they previously showed (so you know for a fact that you will see the opposite of whatever it is they last showed). Whereas in the case of Thom Browne, as one of the most consistent designers with one of the most consistently, finely tuned aesthetics, working today, his shows are evolutionary, not revolutionary, and even though you might not know the little details (the theme, the staging, the exact colors) you are pretty much guaranteed of certain things.

A study in grey
Photo: Vogue.com

Regardless of whether it’s a men’s or women’s collection, you know the show will be highly visual, brilliantly conceived and executed from start to finish, and more often than not, controversial. And you know the basics of what you’re going to see: the color gray, precise tailoring with an emphasis on rigid structure and fit, innovative fabrication, knee socks, lace up oxfords, and the idea of uniform dressing (“I love to keep pushing the idea of uniformity and not so much choice. I think there’s something really refreshing when things don’t change too much” he told Vanessa Friedman).

Photo: Marilyn Kirschner

On Monday night, we were treated to what seemed to be an almost natural continuation of the couture like Japan inspired spring 2016 menswear collection he showed in Paris back in June, but this time, Thom had an underlying theme of Japanese schoolgirls. He assigned such names as Tiger, Mount Fuji, Fan, Cherry Blossom, Geisha, Seated Geisha, Dreaming Geisha, Moon Geisha, Bamboo Blossom, Chrysanthemum, Dragon, to the 29 ensembles that were all comprised of one of his beloved single or double breasted jackets or an overcoat, worn with a pleated mini or below the knee length skirt, layered over an elongated shirt, accessorized with knee socks, lace up oxfords, and boater hats, cut out to allow two sculptural, vertiginous braids to peek out.

Browne sack jacket in frayed linen and oxford tweed
with cotton oxford pieced fabric
Photo: Vogue.com

Tweed, pieced fabric intarsia, and embroidery, all played a large part, and the inventive use of collage like fabrications was particularly exceptional (for instance, one coat was made of black oxford tweed, sheared mink, astrakhan, wool, mohair, and neoprene). Of course, there was plenty of gray (varying shades), and as the perfect neutral, it worked well with the soft pastels (celadon, pink, blue), black, and white (the graphic use of the latter was highly effective).

 Dreaming Geisha double breasted sack overcoat  in charcoal double organza
with linen pieced fabric
Photo: Vogue.com

One really needed to see the clothes up close and personal to really appreciate the enormous workmanship that went into each and every piece, and members of the audience were able to do just that. When the show ended, everyone quickly made a bee line to the ‘little school house’ to snap pictures of the fabulously dressed schoolgirls. By the way, speaking of grey matter, Thom is always so inventive and creative, I would love to get a glimpse inside of his brain!


Thom Browne with Andrew Bolton wearing Thom Browne
Photo: Patrick McMulllan

Meanwhile, Thom was profiled by Vanessa Friedman, in an article that appeared in The New York Times on September 11th “In the Studio: Thom Browne”. This is certainly not the first time the controversial designer has found himself in the limelight. Coincidentally, he is ½ of what has to be one of the most talked about fashion power couples of the moment. His partner, 49 year old Andrew Bolton, who was just named as curator in charge of the Met’s Costume Institute, succeeding Harold Koda, was featured in an article that appeared in the Art & Design section of The New York Times, on September 8th (“Andrew Bolton Chosen to Lead The Met’s Costume Institute” by Robin Pogrebin and Guy Trebay).

Thom admitted that the concept for his spring summer 2016 collections for men and women “really started with Andrew Bolton’s show at the Met, based on China (“China: Through the Looking Glass”) and how it influenced designers.”  That show topped the attendance records held before by 2011’s “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty”, making it the Costume Institute’s two most visited exhibitions ever. Interestingly, both were curated by Andrew Bolton. So I guess if you take note of what Andrew is up to at the Met, you might be able to figure out where Thom may soon be headed





- Marilyn Kirschner








The Daily Bet

Gett


 NYFW SS 16 has members of the press running here there and everywhere to get to fashion shows.  Savvy fashionistas use Gett, the on demand black car service that allows you to instantly book transportation from your mobile phone. Gett is available for free download on iOS and Android. The service features predictable pricing, with no surge rates and 24 hour live customer support.  In New York City, you can ride with Gett anywhere in Manhattan between Battery Park and 110th Street for only $10.00, making it one of the most affordable ways to get around town. 

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- Rhonda Erb
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