Janicza Bravo and Simon Rex Get Cozy at Thom Browne
Last Friday, crowds decked out in gray suits descended on a sun-drenched room in the Javitz Center for Thom Browne’s off-calendar Fall/Winter 2022 show. On the runway, a centerpiece composed of teddy bears seated in tiny chairs set the tone for the brand’s most outrageous showcase yet, a surreal, toy box-inspired collection of ready-to-wear and couture pieces rife with pleats, lobster motifs, and top hats galore. The message? To celebrate the playful, childlike side of New Yorkers. To get the scoop, we caught up with two attendees who know a thing or two about giving shows: the Red Rocket actor Simon Rex and the inimitable Zola director Janicza Bravo.
INTERVIEW: So how did you guys like the show?
SIMON REX: Ladies first.
JANICZA BRAVO: It was my first fashion show. What a high. What a great way to open. I didn’t expect it to be so couture. It was just so delicious and sexy and high kink, high fetish. I’m in.
REX: Mhmm I like that. I’ve probably been to 60 shows in my life, and this was by far the most fun. It felt imaginative, creative, and almost psychedelic.
INTERVIEW: It was a little bit surreal.
BRAVO: I felt like I was in a toy store but also in the deep recesses of the mind of a genius, like I was invited into this trippy part of an artist’s brain.
INTERVIEW: Do you guys think you could carry one of those dog purses together?
BRAVO: I would love to.
REX: How would you do that?
BRAVO: Have you ever been on a tandem bike? It was sort of like a tandem purse.
REX: Right. I’m a big kid myself. So for me that was like being in an FAO Schwartz on acid.
BRAVO: Have you done that?
REX: I haven’t, but I might try it now.
INTERVIEW: What was your favorite look?
REX: There was that one look with the lobster paws. Claws?
BRAVO: I liked anything where the body was different than I expected it to be. I really love the idea of being able to force a shape into someone’s body or force a body into a shape. I think that’s just so radical. It starts to feel almost like playing with clothing as a cage. Can you tell I’m turned on?
REX: I love the shoes that were the toy blocks. It was so childlike, I was smiling the whole time.
INTERVIEW: Do you guys feel like you found yourselves?
REX: I’m still working on that.
BRAVO: It’s like when you’re listening to a great song, or inside of a beautiful film or a piece of theater. Your mind kind of wanders, right? It’s generative. I find the most frustrating art is when you sit inside of something have the door close. Inside of this, I found that a door opened for me.