Ever feel like you’re “living in a dream”? Thom Browne certainly is – and it’s the chicest dream imaginable. Everything from the extravagant venue, to the Little Mermaid soundtrack, to the life-size unicorn that closed the show amplified the fantastical illusion. Browne’s ethereal and surrealistic set catapulted the audience into a dream world. “The idea of this show is the very simple idea of two little girls dreaming. It was true fantasy, including unicorns and mermaids, so it was a very charming kid’s story,” says Browne.
Browne’s enigmatic fable unfolded with ballerinas wearing pearl-studded bodysuits dancing down the runway and imaginative, feminine dresses and suits, made exclusively in tulle. “For me, some of my inspirations are very sophomoric, and are not as intellectual as people think they are,” he says. “The simple idea — not simple in actualizing it — but the simple idea of taking my classic American fabrics and redeveloping it all in a fabric that I thought was very French, which was the tulle. And then also utilizing tulle in a way that I don’t think is used very much, in a very tailored way.”
Behind the Scenes at Thom Browne
Thom Browne frayed fitted jacket • Thom Browne • $3,600
Thom Browne sheer shirt • Thom Browne • $395
Thom Browne Mrs Thom mini • Thom Browne • $4,500
Thom Browne pleated gingham skirt • Thom Browne • $1,293
Thom Browne Trompe L’oeil Collar Sport Coat With Fray In Gun Club Check Gimped Yarn Tweed • Thom Browne • $1,950
Thom Browne Hector tote bag • Thom Browne • $5,100
Using Tulle as the Tool
Perhaps the most astounding element of the show was Browne’s imaginative use of tulle. The fabric was pushed to places that it’s never been before, most notably menswear. Tailored trousers and suit jackets with sculptural shoulders were reinvented through the sheer fabric, which was layered on top of structured garments and under elaborately embroidered pieces in other looks. No matter how it was manipulated, “everything, everywhere is light as tulle.”
Jackets and overcoats shrugged off shoulders, supported by suspenders, while trousers were detached with garters and floated just above the thigh. Enormous jackets in extraordinary woven confections swallowed the models’ slender figures, creating the illusion of otherworldly beings inhabiting Thom Browne’s transcendental dream world. The couture-like finish of the clothes were even more intoxicating when seen up close during the finale as models stood in a fairy-tale tableau, complete with unicorn and sleeping beauties.
“a double dream, dreamt on another planet, dreaming of another beauty that is in fact reality.
a dream of tulle, with tulle as the tool.
totalizing, tantalizing tulle.
light, frilly, floating.”