It is such a pleasure to be invited into Thom Browne’s world that almost all of us within the vogue trade would do something to be there — together with, as was the case on Friday, make the trek to New York’s Javits Middle (all the way in which on the west facet! the horror!) — and achieve this with smiles on our faces. That is as a result of Browne all the time makes the journey worthwhile: Whether or not an enchanted backyard, a Versailles fever dream or his tackle Noah’s Ark, Browne is the king of turning vogue into theatre.
For Fall 2022, Browne’s world was a room with precisely 500 teddy bears, which nearly each viewers member hoped could be up for grabs after the present (no such luck, alas), sitting in wood chairs lined up in exact rows. We had been then launched to the “chairbear” — that might be the mannequin within the teddy bear prime hat, naturally — who was to rule the proceedings from his perch on the prime of the stage. It was to be, as Browne’s present notes indicated, his “teddy discuss.”
First got here a parade of Browne’s “favourite New Yorkers,” 25 appears filled with Browne signatures. Loads of grey suiting with piping and paneling in vivid, collegiate colours; houndstooth and plaid pleated kilts, which revealed mismatched striped interiors; thick cable knits sweaters with Browne’s tricolor stripes on the neck and sleeves. Whereas these autumnal appears are layered to the hilt, they’re comparatively tame for a Browne present. Every thing is inherently wearable, particularly when damaged right down to particular person items.
However then, we had been instructed, it was time to satisfy the toys: 25 appears which function funhouse mirror variations of the 25 which got here earlier than. Shapes are excessive and distorted, that includes hoop skirts or misshapen protrusions. (In among the latter, it is exhausting not to attract comparability to Comme des Garçons, particularly its well-known “lumps and bumps” assortment.) They play with among the most basic preppy motifs, like lobsters blown to massive sizes and blazers haphazardly stitched collectively. The equipment actually stand out: Hector baggage with the tail dragging on the finish of a slinky coil, footwear perched on wood block platforms, prime deal with briefcases in teddy bear fur.
On the finish, all of the fashions filed out, New Yorkers paired with their toy selves, the place they lastly bought to satisfy one another. The toy selves, based on the voiceover, are the true selves, the interior selves, of the New Yorkers. “A lifelong search… a lifetime of questions… asking and looking out… questions lastly… and fully answered…,” based on the present notes.
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Now, I imply no disrespect to Browne or the improbable assortment he offered, however the actual spotlight of the present got here on the finale. Because the fashions started to file backstage, Kelly Clarkson’s “A Second Like This” began up, and the chairbear proceeded to carry out a barn-burning lip sync efficiency for the group (each human and teddy bear).
By the tip, when the chairbear hauled a laughing Browne out for his bow, even the sometimes stoic vogue set was whooping and hollering. It was, maybe, the most effective runway finale of all time.
See the entire Thom Browne Fall 2022 assortment within the gallery under:
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