Scene setting: The Thom Browne look is as defined as it is in motion. The performative aspect to his shows and – more importantly – the clothes, are delivered for an Instagram age but he’s been doing this since 2003. There is real authenticity to how Browne chooses to show his collections. A/W18 was held at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts on a rainy Saturday afternoon. The space had been set up like a snowy holiday camp, complete with naked trees and ski-loungers lined in tricolor down sleeping bags.
Best in show: Last season, Browne riffed on gender in his own inimitable way, putting male models in stiletto heeled brogues and tailored dresses in grey flannel. The catwalk collections showcase Browne’s sense of humour. A/W18, he says simply, is about ‘elaborations on a jacket and a pair of trousers’. The sack shapes, high armholes and abbreviated proportion that created the label all come to the fore. Models walked around the snowy catwalk and then came back out wearing fine grey marl all in ones. They each unzipped a sleeping bag and slipped inside. Tucking the models in were two oddballs dressed in white skirts and short boucle jackets with fencing masks in lace.
Mood board: The collection revisits the codes in Browne’s archive. His foundation is playing with proportion; playing with our perception of performance. At the core of the brand are the classic wingtip brogue in pebble grain, the slim-fit grey marl suits and fresh Oxford shirts all made in New York. He presented his last Gamme Bleu collection for Moncler last season, so there was more sportswear offered in his own line. Sartorial meets the sporty in down jacket suits. Classic tailoring is done on cable knit, padded and down-filled. Flannels, Donegal tweed, camel. Irish knits and Fair Isle knits. Tartans. There is a tradition to the textile; A/W18 feels edited and tight. Browne notes: ‘It all comes down to a grey suit. That’s it.’