Thom Browne made his Paris Fashion Week debut with his womenswear line that had “The Little Mermaid” serving as his muse. Multicolor hues of blue dominated the scene, with some orange, blue and yellow thrown in. Together, they bounced off the solid, achromatic white.
Thom Browne’s new line swam down the runway with dresses, boas, blazers, and eccentric ties. One model even wore a mermaid-tail skirt with a long coat that had a mermaid shell bra sewn on front, bringing the beloved Disney classic to life. White pants with bursts of blue, green, and yellow were tailored from eyelash fabric, while poufy loofah-like fuzz balls were stitched to an oversized jacket. Blazers of the same vibrant pallet were paired with standard blue striped ties; it’s what we imagine business casual under the sea looks like. He used an abundance of organza to construct skirt suits for men and women, one of which formed the head of an octopus.
Thom Browne’s staple look in this collection came out with a surprise. A model dressed in all white appeared, walking a white unicorn behind her. She mirrored the unicorn, wearing trousers made from a puff of cotton. This was paired with a half-button, collared down tunic top. The top was sheer on the upper half and this sheerness continued throughout the attached long-sleeves. This two-piece, sewn together top created the look of short-sleeves over long-sleeves, showing us that the layered look will be here to stay come next season. Her headdress was the most unusual aspect of her look. The sheer white sphere mimicked a fishbowl, giving the illusion that she could breathe underwater. This headdress along with the white boots popped up in a few trends of this collection.
Thom Browne has been known for shaking up menswear and womenswear paradigms. The 2018 collection showed how he likes to generate alternate realms with his designs.
For fantastical shows like Thom Browne’s ready-to-wear collection, pre-production planning is essential in creating the final fantasy. Drawing inspiration from “The Little Mermaid,” the team built props and set lighting with just the right density filters to reproduce the underwater world of Ariel and her costars. Pulling off his first show in Paris, the fashion capital of the world, was a mighty feat to take on.
Lots of rehearsals ensured models knew how to bring Browne’s otherworldly looks to life. One logistical problem was ensuring that the large and eccentric costumes permitted a walk down the runway. The biggest task of all may have been that show-stopping guest appearance by the white unicorn. Models in costume needed to practice their walk alongside the model that guided the prop. The unicorn and the rest of the ethereal elements produced for the show were a success.
This American designer originally started his career in Los Angeles with an attempt at acting. He later moved to New York to become a salesman and quickly worked up the ranks en route to launching his own label. Over the years, he gained a lot of useful experience as a director of Ralph Lauren’s design department at Club Monaco, which led him to launch his own label. Successful fashion design beckons successful collaboration; Thom Browne did just that when he teamed up with Brooks Brothers and the Italian sportswear company, Moncler.
Thom Browne designs can be found all over the world from luxury department stores like Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys New York to stores in London, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, and Le Bon Marché in Paris. With a handful of international experiences already under his belt, this fun new line was destined to be a successful Paris Fashion Week debut for Thom Browne.
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