Thom Browne could hardly have picked a better day to show a collection seemingly made for royal babies and their almost-royal mother, with its rainbows of colors and funny little hats in the shape of blazers and handbags, extraordinary things by the extraordinary milliner Stephen Jones. Or was the royal machine that chose the day of Thom Browne’s spring collection to announce another bundle of headlines on the way?
This was a show for the ages, employing his established quest for flamboyance and his menswear-linked tailoring skill. The mind wandered everywhere — from a game of lawn tennis to Monet’s Impressionist gardens, from 19th-century botanical drawings to Brooklyn church ladies. To put it succinctly, flowers and formality. We’re talking intense, crazy, saturated daisies splashed across a jaunty pantsuit, satiny orchids stitched into boucle, and clusters of petals buzzing all over a skirt and jacket combo. But the show was almost stolen by the still male models in stilts and flower costumes in the center of the box-hedged, grass-covered runway, which a model had ‘mowed’ before the show got underway.
It was trippy, to say the least. But Browne has been building up to this point for some time. He toyed with pastels in his last men’s show and dabbled in bright metallics for his last women’s show. Still, who would have thought the avant-purist would have fallen so hard for garish colors and bourgeois flowers? Of course, in his hands they weren’t garish or bourgeois at all, but a walk in the park.