Thom Browne has invited everyone into his bedroom for his men’s pre-fall collection.
The designer recently completed a two-year renovation of the Manhattan town house he purchased with his partner, Andrew Bolton, head curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. One of the most poignant features of the house is the hand-painted floral wallpaper they chose for their bedroom.
Although not an exact replica, the elaborate green toile found its way onto an exquisite coat, pleated skirt and sweater in the seasonal offering.
“This is one of the most personal references I’ve ever used for a collection,” Browne said. But the length and energy they devoted to renovating the 15-room town house on the Upper East Side got inside his head and onto his sketchpad.
Although much of the collection offers familiar Thom Browne references such as gray blazers, puffers and overcoats, the pre-fall offering also served up some pops of color with celadon green making an appearance in blazers, trousers and quilted jackets — complete with floral references to the wallpaper — along with a softer air force blue that he used in an ankle-length dress, a double-breasted coat with a shearing collar and a pin-striped suit with a long, pleated skirt. Browne also used both colors in a bomber that featured one side in the green and the other in the blue with white sleeves and a ribbed collar and cuffs.
“It’s a really complete collection. I approach pre-fall more as wearable clothes than silhouettes or patternmaking,” Browne explained, pointing to the “modular shapes” of the dresses. And yes, there are a lot of dresses in the men’s collection.
“They’re not going away,” he said. “They’re here for good. I love working with them and it feels right for me and is where everybody’s head is right now. And I love how it looks.” Ditto for platform shoes for men, which also were pervasive in the offering. “I think it’s funny to have real platforms for guys,” he said.
Browne introduced new shapes in more traditional men’s jackets and trousers, including a jacket that looks like a double-breasted but is actually single-breasted. “It twists around the body and I paired it with a long, pleated skirt,” he said.
Preppy references, a signature of Browne’s aesthetic, made an appearance in a bright white double-breasted top coat with what Browne described as “preppy iconography” embroidery, as well as trousers and a shrunken navy blazer with red lobsters embroidered on them. There was a shearling jacket designed to look like corduroy, and an assortment of hats, from buckets to ski caps.
Beyond the collection itself, Browne said he’s excited at the prospect of soon being part of a publicly held company. The brand is majority owned by Ermenegildo Zegna, which will be going public on the New York Stock Exchange some time this month.
“It’s exciting for us to be part of something so important,” he said. “Being listed on the New York Stock Exchange is a big deal.”