NYFW AW17: Thom Browne

THOM Browne has developed a veritable reputation as New York Fashion Week’s PT Barnum. And if there’s one thing NYFW desperately needs, it’s an impresario who deals in sheer individuality and Browne supplied this for AW17 with an array of grey on grey on grey, whimsically shape-shifting in designs reminiscent of everything from houndstooth Chanel-esque tweed, school uniform argyle and mime artists, in striped sable fur.

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One major thread of his latest collection was his unique interpretation of how the black-style tuxedo style can be reinterpreted again and again. If Yves Saint Laurent’s Le Smoking was a daring mix of demure and beguiling androgynous tailoring for women, Browne’s take on the tuxedo certainly had  a sense of le smoking about it but was on a whole different kind of trip.

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Embellishments were rampant but applied to basic white shirts, jackets and blazers with such confident quality that even the most unassuming wearer would probably feel comfortable donning some of the collection’s highlights. A suit given a definite narrative with storybook illustrations in fabric form, harlequin inspired puffed coat and matching short-suit beneath and bursts of primary colours depicting the same storybook prints were among the highlights.

Thom Browne’s enthusiasm for his decidedly marketable avant-garde looks is so infectious that even the most sceptical can’t help but be charmed. His designer of the year win at the last CFDA awards has no doubt done wonders for his sense of adventure.

by Livia Feltham

Images courtesy of Thom Browne