Thom Browne and The March of Time
Sophisticated survivor chic at Thom Browne, whose latest set was a downed white biplane in a gray sandy desert, in his first runway show since becoming president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
An aeroplane that landed inside The Shed, the mammoth show space in Hudson Yards, ended up underneath dangling white paper suns, moons and stars.
His patrician passengers being met by a half-dozen extra-terrestrials, dressed in peak shoulder tunic dresses and orbs for hats. Ground control to Major Thom.
Browne also circled the desert to become a giant clock face, suggesting The March of Time. And clocks became the leitmotif of this collection, seen on the side of totes and handbags, or even as the heels of a series of mules, that made it almost impossible for several models to circumnavigate the set.
However, Thom’s big statement was deconstruction in this Fall/Winter 2023 co-ed collection. Like the Flight of the Phoenix, where a group of explorers coble together parts from their crashed plane to complete their flight to Benghazi.
Assembling all the favorite elements of his DNA – little boy flannel suits; cricket blazers; bouclé wool coats; red and blue stripes; striped ties; banker pinstripes and pleated skirts – into a dozen wild concoctions. As one observer sniffed: “Thom Galliano.”
It's been a busy week for Browne, who jointly hosted an opening cocktail party for editors and VIPs inside Nine Orchard, the Lower East Side hotel of the moment, with Anna Wintour and Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA.
Recalling how she once shared an overnight flight from New York to Milan with Browne, and had to “change into those rather unglamorous belted pyjamas.” But where Anna fell asleep, Thom “sat bolt upright, working the entire flight. And there was something about him that made me think he was a sentinel, watching out for all of us, ready to leap into action. And that’s exactly what we have in our new leader, and our new nightwatchman, at the CFDA.”
It being Valentine’s Day, Browne left tiny boxes containing two heart-shape chocolates on guests’ seats. And then earned himself a double applause first by taking his bow, and then by strolling over to his partner Andrew Bolton and handing him a large red heart.
Coming seconds after a grand procession at the finale. When the entire cast toured the perimeter of the clock to an operatic version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic anthem You Never Walk Alone.
Who would have thought that Thom was a Liverpool fan?
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