DRAMA QUEEN: An appetite for the theatrical is always evident in Thom Browne’s seasonal runway shows — and now the designer is making his first full-on foray into the business called show.


This story first appeared in the November 27, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Browne is designing the costumes for a limited-run theater production called “Queen of the Night” at the Diamond Horseshoe, the once-legendary nightclub space in the basement of New York’s Paramount Hotel. The Diamond Horseshoe had its glittering heyday in the late Thirties and Forties before falling into disuse in 1951; it is now being renovated and revived by bon vivant real estate developer Aby Rosen, whose RFR Holding acquired the Paramount Hotel in 2011 and relaunched it earlier this year.

“Queen of the Night” is the creation of Randy Weiner, of “Sleep No More” fame, and his partners Simon Hammerstein and Murtaza Akbar of Variety Worldwide LLC. In addition to Browne, the trio recruited stylist and street-style catnip Giovanna Battaglia as creative director of the show, along with window-dressing whiz Douglas Little as set and scenic director.

The interactive, surrealist-tinged performance opens on New Year’s Eve and incorporates music, dance, circus arts and magic in an interactive environment with eating and drinking. The plot centers on an eccentric society swan, with performances scheduled for just six weeks.

“My approach was based on hearing about Giovanna’s interpretation of the piece and her vision for the characters and I went from there. I wanted to be provocative and true to story,” said Browne of the costumes. “I only went into this by being persuaded by Giovanna and the people involved.”

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