Thom Browne’s consistent design methodology is grounded in precise craftsmanship and couture-level construction, often accompanied by techniques and patterns that embody the designer’s tendency towards surrealism. For Fall/Winter 2017, Browne exhibited these trademark attributes through a collection focused on tailoring and unconventional forms of embellishment, set in a grayscale winter wonderland – penguins and ice skates included.
As the show commenced, models sauntered mechanically atop the fabric-covered ice rink runway, revealing a slew of monochromatic ensembles accompanied by white collared shirts and masculine neck ties hidden beneath layers of perfectly tailored outwear. Browne’s ubiquitous toying with exaggerated and shrunken proportions was omnipresent, exhibited through smaller-than-normal blazers and cropped sweaters contrasted by elongated sleeves and protruding white cuffs; secured to model’s thumbs as if taking on the role of fingerless gloves.
Stripes, argyle and houndstooth proved featured patterns for fall/winter 2017, as did the collection’s unique penguin motif, all of which were rendered atop relaxed knits, everyday suiting and elaborate outwear utilizing couture-like construction techniques. As the seemingly grayscale collection progressed, the pallet evolved to include primary colors - red, blue, green and yellow – namely atop trompe l’oeil outerwear, quilted garments and color-blocked ensembles.
If the show were divided into three acts, the third and final sequence featured blissfully inventive black and white eveningwear. With each model’s neck and ice-skates-turned-heels accessorized by a black bowtie, the collection’s fabrication techniques and forms of embellishment became all the more elaborate; seen through inside out outerwear exposing a jacket’s interior construction, hundreds of strips of loose tulle, and garments adorned with thousands of mother of pearl buttons.
The show closed with a pair of models outfitted in likeminded puffer jacket evening ensembles, one equipped with a complimentary train. Were they two brides or two grooms? Ever the master showman, Browne left it to the audience to decide.