The Strange Beauty of Thom Browne SS22
The menswear and womenswear collections were showcased in a garden setting spectacle, where the tailoring mastery of the label was the star of the show.
There is a fashion show, and then there is a fashion show, emphasis on each word as an art in its own right. Some designers partake in the former. Thom Browne excels in the latter.
For the spring 2022 ready-to-wear collection, Thom Browne engaged in a performance of beauty and strangeness, a garden tableau dotted with the label’s signature crisp tailoring and classic suits.
True to the androgynous nature of Thom Browne, womenswear and menswear intermingled on the runway, exuding a reinvention of the traditional uniform and fostering a place where sleek grey is the most wonderful color in the world, and the world belongs to Thom Browne.
In the center of a labyrinthine garden, a pair of bachelors pace, awaiting the return of their beloved guests; a lone cyclist enters the scene, followed by another, transversing the square path surrounding the garden, marking the route for models to follow like clockwork in floral headdresses and makeup, keeping to the garden theme. The music swells; instrumentals crescendo and burst like a bubble; the timeless elegance of Thom Browne has returned to the runway.
There is a simple beauty in the creations of Thom Browne, and something unnervingly tearjerking about the presentation of the collection in the show itself. Few designers can make a shapeless grey sack interesting, much less stunning, but Thom Browne’s clean uniform and simple tailoring makes the every day into the evocative. Menswear, womenswear, whatever; it all collides in Thom Browne’s mystical garden, coalescing into a collective performance of poise and elegance, timelessness turned contemporary.
In Thom Browne’s garden, a sea of gray is inflated by intense hues of crimson and violet, creating a cohesively sophisticated aesthetic. Silhouettes and tailoring are undoubtedly the label’s strong suit (in their strongest suits, ironically), and in this collection, asymmetry and exaggeration were key outlets. Standout looks include a suit jacket missing its sleeves, instead made sleek and modern in a straight silhouette; a long skirt hitting below the knee, seams virtually nonexistent; a gauzy red gown trailing a sheer cape behind it; and a structured, almost laughably simple one-shoulder beige dress, a double-tiered hem being the only sign of the designer’s hand on the fabric.
Thom Browne tells a story for spring 2022. It is one of remembrance and resurgence, a celebration of tradition and a yearning for togetherness. In the center of the garden, the two bachelors, circling each other throughout the show, unzip their dresses; underneath, they wear matching white lace gowns. It holds all the softness and promise of a wedding. The set of cyclists returns. Surrounded by guests of their garden, the bachelors reach out for each other, hands almost touching but not quite—it is a union, and a promise for a new beginning.