At first glance, it may seem that for Spring 2010, Thom Browne has finally run out of new ideas for his quirky collections.
Top shot by Scott Schuman, below by Tommy Ton. Apologies for the absence...
But what still seems remarkable about his latest show is his unfailing ability to use basic details — jacket piping, gold buttons, and polka dots to name a few — to exaggerate them and put them together in his signature cuts, which now include holes.
The clothes look as if someone played a trick on the tailor, giving suits the measles or cutting them according to the proportion of Alice in Wonderland characters.
That is inevitably Thom Browne's undeniable charm.
Some of the colors and silhouettes could have just as easily been scribbled by a child with crayons — the trench, the wide legs, the cropped jackets, even the pajama prints. Well maybe not the skorts.
Maybe for swimming? The fishing hats are perfect for the navy jackets with thick piping. The striped shirt, of course, is a nice sailor touch. Notice the large neck buckle on the sleeveless hoodie? So it seems some things are miniature, while others are made bigger.
The imagination also plays naughty, as the fishing hats are transformed into Looney Tunes hat-glasses. The serious bit in this picture is the stitching on the jacket, which doesn't really aim to give it a threadbare look, but just age. Also the fit. I don't think I've seen as much emphasis on the upper back. The silhouette is youthful, serious, yet at the same time fun.
It's as if these clothes were made for kids who just fit into adult uniforms, or reversely, have just outgrown what their parents bought them. The drama is in the transition.
What fabric! It is that special ingredient in the alchemy of fit, cut, and fancy. (I am referring to the white jacket, but am not that wary of praising the yellow vest and trench.
The halter effect of the shirt in the middle may be reminiscent of Prada's air ties, but it is the sailor-collared jacket that introduces a totally new combination. The good thing about this is, if you are not partial to the shirt, there are plenty of ways to style the jacket — with an actual sailor shirt for starters.
So the socks are out of the preppie bag.
So you may only be reminded of shower curtains by some of the polka dot items, but you have to admit that it would be a dream to mix them with other patterns and match them with solids.
The layering possibilities are endless.
It is interesting to note that Thom Browne has assimilated Givenchy's shorts layering into his preppy pieces. Of course, the cottage cheese holes are more original.
More to follow...