If you’ve caught much Fashion Week coverage, either on this site or elsewhere, you’ve likely realized: The collections that visionary designers send down runways are in fact NOT explicit instructions on how they’d like to see you—the average, intelligent, style-aware male—dress yourself come next season.
What these spectacles of immaculately crafted clothing-as-art do provide, if approached with an open mind, is a window into the extreme end of a designer’s current mindset. The best among them translate their inner vision into a performative presentation that makes you think—and no one puts on a more thought-provoking show than Thom Browne.
While previous Thom Browne productions (and they truly are that, with models not just walking, but often enacting odd tasks in surreal environments) have tackled aspects of Americana—preps, punks, astronauts—his most recent, Spring 2014, unveiled in Paris yesterday, is the first to hoist a patriotic color palette of red, white and blue. There were even stars and bars imprinted on the train of an elaborate officer’s coat (left) and the midriff of the red jacket at right.
To be fair, conventionally anti-menswear motifs like sleeveless coats, doily-trimmed socks, and, well, skirts, may have suggested a subversive satire on nationalism. Browne himself left his message open-ended as always, though—so we’re going to take it as all the more reason to go all-American for Independence Day this Thursday. Shop our favorites below, and more options here: Americana.
Clearly an expert multi-tasker, Browne also designs womenswear—as well as Moncler Gamme Bleu, an experimental, sport-inspired men’s line for down-jacket innovators Moncler. Recent collections have delved deep into the sartorial treasure troves of fencing, Indy racing and the Highland Games. Spring ’14, presented in Milan recently, took a fresh look at the traditional British game of cricket.
While a lot of critics (read: internet trolls) have been hung up on the black lips (perhaps a riff on cricketers’ predilection for zinc cream; definitely a classic TB move to confound audiences and contrast the otherwise clean-cut aesthetic)…we’re more focused on the crisp mix of whites.
Around the office, our men’s team has already been favoring white-on-white everything lately—and Browne’s blown-out dissertation on the subject pretty much solidifies it as a go-to way of getting dressed, both this summer and next. To do it right, mix tones, textures and fabrications as Browne does above. (And skip the lipstick.)