Call it designing for posterity: Thom Browne says he hopes the pieces in his pre-fall collection will withstand the test of time.
“They’re the type of items that I really hope and I do think will be in vintage stores in 20, 30 years,” he said of the designs, which combine his appreciation for high-quality fabrics with a conservative sensibility – notwithstanding the more conceptual pieces inspired by his fantasy-filled runway displays.
The designer’s men’s wear background informed the lineup, which had a strong tailoring element, from the short-sleeved camel pintuck jacket to a crisp striped shirtdress, feminized by the addition of bridal buttons at the sleeves and hem.
A flared gray wool dress was based on the one former First Lady Michelle Obama wore to the 2013 inauguration. Here, it was given a sporty twist with the addition of a down filling – a legacy of Browne’s recently-ended collaboration with Moncler – and his signature tricolor stripes at the elbows.
Preppy touches came by way of open-weave tweeds, based on his registered tartan, and gold buttons engraved with anchors. There was a Sixties flavor to bon chic, bon genre looks like an Irish sweater paired with a pleated skirt in school uniform gray wool.
For those craving an element of his Surrealist catwalk creations, there were off-kilter details. A navy duffel coat with a sliced hem recalled the corseted silhouettes of his spring women’s show, while a gray nylon down coat with leg-of-mutton sleeves was derived from an exquisite sculpted evening dress.
Browne has always included a black-tie element in his women’s collections, but this season he ramped up the evening offerings with soigné looks like a long gray moiré sleeveless shift, which came with a matching cropped jacket trimmed with gray mink.
Those hoping to stand out on the charity gala circuit could always opt for a saucier alternative: a gray crushed velvet gown sliced away to expose one breast, save for a strategically placed silver nipple pasty. That one has a built-in sell-by date: a pert bosom only lasts so long.