In his last two runway shows, Thom Browne put men in trompe-l’oeil dresses and women in gray business suits. So it was only natural that he should channel a coed spirit with his resort collection, which explored the crossover between masculine and feminine wardrobes through the prism of classic American sportswear.
Tailoring, ranging from his signature shrunken suit to a roomier sack cut, underpinned the collection, which was rife with preppy markers served with a quirky twist. Jackets and shorts came embroidered with dolphins, while an intarsia pattern of seahorses and shells cut through the primness of a navy sweater set.
Browne brought masculine materials and fabrications to his women’s looks, splicing striped tie silks into the pleats of midi-length tweed skirts, and adding raglan sleeves to a crisp trenchcoat. The tailored looks, meanwhile, toggled between classic seersucker and fresco wool in sherbet hues.
“I’ve loved what I’ve done for men, and I really almost want that attention in the same way to the girl as well,” he explained. “I think there’s a real confidence in the way that they complement each other.”
The designer has been developing fabrics with the Ermenegildo Zegna Group, which bought a majority stake in his brand last year, in addition to tapping its tailoring expertise. “The business is growing so much, so they definitely have the capabilities of scaling at the best quality, which is comforting,” he noted.
And while there were some showstoppers in the collection, including streamlined versions of those trompe-l’oeil gowns, he’s hoping his staple items will have customers coming back for more.
“Just a beautifully made jacket is even more fashionable sometimes than the most conceptual ideas that I can come up with,” said Browne, explaining that he aims to create investment pieces. “What’s more interesting to me is the quality in having less, as opposed to having more.”