Thom Browne designs clothes that have been thought to be comical and ill-fitting. They are also redefining modern menswear.
Menswear designer Thom Browne has used the runway to float some strange ideas. His provocative and characteristically wacky proposals have included a Big Bird suit of feathers in banker’s grey; punky makeup paired with papal-like capes; matronly skirts topped by jackets with the Hulk’s shoulders; see-through pants; square pants; and pants with three legs.
You might wonder, “Who but a clown is going to wear this stuff?” But all the theatrical pieces serve to put into relief the Thom Browne suit. Consisting of a short, snug jacket and trousers cropped to shin-revealing heights, it has been the basis of everything Browne has done since he launched his business a dozen years ago. In the beginning, it seemed extreme, was mocked and incited comparisons to Pee-wee Herman, but it has turned out to be a defining shape of men’s clothing today.
If you want to see something really freaky, take a look at an average suit from just six years ago. I’ve got one. Both jacket and pants are slightly too long, and the whole thing is made from the kind of lightweight, ultrafine wool that drapes like silk. Put it on, and it feels like a kimono.
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