Thom Browne’s Paris fashion moment
“We had three models cancel on me and I thought the millennial generation was the one open to everything,” marveled Thom Browne after an epic menswear show, where every man walked in high heels.
High heels, of course, in the Thom Browne mold, fine gentlemanly brogues though with four inch heels. Worn in high black stockings with his signature triple broad stripe. Every one of them impressing with the poise – in a collection that broke some fresh rules about gender bending fashion.
Fancy an evening sheath? Well Browne has them in light chalk stripes, for a very quirky cross dressing banker. In the mood for a jaunty coat dress, well why not one in shiny gray completed with a matching kilt.
Essentially, this is menswear couture, in a show that climaxed with a dual personality male-bride – with a matinee idol tuxedo front and a satin and guipure lace back. It was also nice to see that Browne now clearly addresses what’s generally happening in fashion, and he unveiled very good oversize jackets to sum up the general wide silhouette mood in his very own particular way.
For the uninitiated, Browne is the designer who got guys to wear little boy suits with micro jackets and pants with exposed ankles.
Though eternally provocative, Browne has built a real business. According to executives, annual sales topped $100 million last year, with forecast growth of 25% this year.
He now boasts three flagships – New York, Tokyo and Milan, opened in April. And next Friday comes a new mega store in London. He may rip up sartorial codes at will, but Browne is also building a substantial house. He has fashion credibility and financial clout. This was his first true Parisian fashion moment, and he surely deserved it.
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