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For his Spring 2015 collection Thom Browne looked to the Brontë sisters and Little Women: “Girls who love each other, but who are also fiercely competitive.” Browne wrote his own fictional story about six sisters and explored what they enjoy doing in the summer months, namely gardening and playing tennis, as shown by the strong sportif elements and rainbow floral motifs embroidered on a mélange of silks and fine tweeds, some woven with grosgrain ribbon. In addition, Browne says, he was inspired by a certain “very American, very individual, and very iconic” mystery woman.
On the menu were five groups, one for each day of the week: tailoring in Browne’s signature grey wool and Prince of Wales checks (Monday), dresses and cardigan jackets (Tuesday), sack skirts and dresses and sweater sets (Wednesday), caviar bead embellished tee shirts and pencil skirts (Thursday), and flared dresses with matching coats for the girl who swears by “buy now, wear now” (Friday). “It’s like Garanimals for adults,” Browne joked of the head-to-toe dressing he prefers. Couture milliner Stephen Jones shared a similar sentiment. “Why stop at the neck?” he asked.
For his part, Jones created a tennis racket-turned-fascinator with a matching veil and Browne’s logo and signature stripe on the sides. “To suggest a cross-section of wood, we painted various materials and layered them.” Jones also designed miniature versions of Browne’s suit jackets and dresses to wear as 1930s-era turbans and hats, birdcages in the shape of handbag frames, and oversized bonnets of butterflies, sunflowers, and tulips. Meanwhile, Sarah-Jane Wilde, Browne’s longtime friend and frequent collaborator, did her bit with wink-y, rather feminine brooches.
Skirt suits made of clear PVC came etched with silk flowers, paired with an exquisite evening coat covered of colorful sequins against an iridescent grey background of the same material. Rounding out the group was a coat of 136 mod puzzle pieces, beautifully stitched together with matching seams in Oxford cloth, a staple textile for Browne. As another mod nod, there were suits adorned with multicolored feathers that jut out from the body like acupuncture needles. Other standouts included a terrycloth robe in the shape of a traditional day coat lined with sheered mink, and trompe l’oeil swimsuits of crystals embroidered onto seersucker suits.
Oh, and if all this idiosyncratic suit business full of funnies sounds familiar, it’s because the mystery woman in question is the original Annie Hall, Diane Keaton, who did the honor of reading Browne’s charming narrative.
For more from New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015, click here.