High Church was the set for Thom Browne’s fall collection, which,while still as thought-provoking as some of the designer’s past efforts,was noticeably toned down in its sartorial strangeness. It evenprovided glimpses into Browne’s more commercial side, a notion that is,for this designer, quite provocative.

Nevertheless, there was still the drama-filled set: guests sat onpews, incense filled the room, white candles burned and kneelers werepositioned at the foot of the elevated runway. Before the show started,men dressed as priests knelt on them and then as each model stepped out,a priest lifted her white lace veil. If it wasn’t clear that Browne wasembracing a monastic aesthetic, the opening look — a long gray coatwith white paneling detail — drove home the point.

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