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Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Fall 2013: Thom Browne Womenswear.

Previously on Thom Browne. 

Amazingly, this is Thom Browne's Ready-To-Wear collection. If you've heard of Thom Browne, chances are it's either because of his rather eccentric menswear or because Michelle Obama wore one of his designs to this year's Inauguration -- you know, the dress that made her look kind of like a Vulcan. This collection drew far more from his menswear than from his more sedate womenswear designs, however. Not because it was remotely masculine in appearance, but more because of the exaggerated proportions and Browne's unique ability to make grey look like the loudest colour on the spectrum.
Many of the outfits on display this week reminded me of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, not just because of the red rose imagery but because the styling seemed so in tune with Helena Bonham Carter's hair and makeup as the Queen of Hearts -- and her personal appearance in real life. The overall themes, however, were not particularly gothic. This wasn't so much a Twilight rose with sharp thorns as the image of a rose taken from girlish embroidery or cake decorations.

Thom Browne loves to play with gender in his designs, and viewed through the lens of his recent menswear shows, this collection does show some aspects of that. Where the silhouette of his menswear designs was rounded and soft (even if it was the roundness of overly-padded muscles), many of the coats and dresses in this show were angular in the extreme, going well beyond the squared-off shoulderpads of the 1930s and '80s. Some of these outfits reminded me of nothing less than the duo of oblong-torsoed spies in Belleville Rendez-vous:

 As well as the resolutely right-angled 1930s box suits, there were a few nods to 1950s Dior, in the form of ladylike dresses with nipped-in waists. Even these were exaggerated, however, with Browne including bulky crinolines at the hips.

This collection was a real breath of fresh air when compared to the multiple New York Fashion Week shows that focussed on leather trenchcoats and conservative cocktail dresses. While obviously very costumey, most of the clothes were far more season-appropriate than much of the other supposedly "Fall" designs I've seen on the runway over the past few days. Following on from the beautifully weird suits and gowns at the beginning of the show, the final few outfits focused on outerwear, featuring rose-red fur and layer upon layer of heavy wool tweeds.

images from
Youtube guide to watching New York Fashion Week online.

1 comment:

  1. Huh, did he actually cite Alice in Wonderland as an inspiration? Because the super-boxy silhouettes in the first few pics remind me of nothing so much as the playing-card soldiers in the Disney cartoon version (don't remember if there's something similar in the Tim Burton version).