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Brooks Brothers continued to draw on its long-standing heritage for its fall collection.

The season took inspiration from the palettes of a variety of paintings that helped update looks from the past. For instance, the tattersalls and tartans of the collection harken back to the vertical lines and primary colors of a work from Mondrian. And John James Audubon’s bird paintings give new meaning to the sportsman’s theme.

This story first appeared in the February 16, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

A collegiate sensibility was also visible in the line, which introduced two new accessories pieces — a briefcase and duffle — in a vintage leather used for Wilson footballs. In fact, the store is also retailing a cobranded limited edition football in the same material.

Deep saturated colors — mainly purple and navy — were a hallmark of the line, and Brooks Bros. also stepped ahead with its all-black evening story that included a bouclé double-breasted jacket paired with a pencil skirt for women.

Cashmere, in coats, wraps and twinsets for women, was also a unifying statement in the line.

In the Black Fleece collection, designed by Thom Browne, the women’s wear has lightened up. “We’re softening the girl,” Browne said, noting there are “more skirts and dresses” offered this time. “The collection is a lot more feminine, from the shapes of the skirts to the looseness of the knits.”

In men’s, the fabrics and details have evolved and include ticket pockets on the jackets and tartans in different fabrics. “The men’s line builds upon itself every season instead of changing [dramatically],” he said.

One of the most striking pieces is a full-length beaver overcoat for men that Browne said was inspired by a piece he found in the archives.

Brooks Bros. chief executive officer Claudio Del Vecchio reported the newly opened Black Fleece store on Bleecker Street has started off strong. “It’s a novelty, so we can’t compare it to any other opening,” he said, “but it’s doing better than planned so far. And we’re only selling full price.” Additionally, the women’s wear is doing better than it has traditionally done in Brooks Bros. stores.

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