Thom Browne Plays With Proportion for Fall/Winter 2022

The American designer toyed with suiting and sculpture this season.

It is definitely a busy few days for Thom Browne and Andrew Bolton. The latter, who is the Head Curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is gearing up for Monday’s Met Gala and accompanying exhibition: “In America: An Anthology of Fashion.” If that wasn’t enough, Browne rescheduled his Fall/Winter 2022 show from the usual February time slot to better support his partner’s endeavors at the Met.

Shown at the Vessel in Hudson Yards, the American label certainly did not miss a beat from its last scheduled showing. For Browne, the collection served as a love letter to the New York City and all its possibilities. And of course, in true Browne fashion, the collection was presented as a story of hardworking teddybears. “The chairbear’s favorite new yorkers first came to the toy shop looking for their true selves,” the brand explained in a statement released to V. “today, they find them. the adults enter the toy shop in tweed tailoring, classic and play like. shades of gray are layered with silk mogador jacquards in collegiate colors—red, white, and blue paired with gold, green, and orange.”

The first half of the collection was decidedly more wearable than the latter half and was packed full of reimagined menswear suiting, bold color play, and sky-touching footwear. Browne’s styling choices are directly drawn from his whimsical inspiration: alphabet block motifs, car-shaped clutches, patchwork lobsters, clusters of puzzle pieces.

As models trapsed around the sprawling space, Rocky Harwell gave a quasi Ted Talk, or ‘Teddy Talk” per the brand, in front of the eager audience—which also included rows of teddy bears in miniature Thom Browne outfits. The talk, and wider theatrical show, laid out Browne’s distinct universe built on zany self-expression and never-ending creativity.

As the collection progressed, Browne leaned into his experimental side with layered frocks that blurred the lines between wearable fashion and sculpture. From floor-length patterned bow ties to padded crinoline skirts, each look served to represent an individual character exploring their authentic self, much to the delight of the onlooking crowd of teddy bears. Texture play—wool balaclavas, cable knit overlays, silk jacquards—dominate the second portion of the collection and add a sense of dimension when interwoven with the label’s signature pinstripe suiting.

While Browne’s fantastical shapes are certainly not ideal the for the everyday, they help to broaden the airy and freeing narrative surrounding the brand and wider collection. And for Browne, suiting doesn’t have to be bland. Even if one isn’t daring enough to rock the collection’s ballooning silhouettes, the impeccably cut mismatched wool overcoats and simplistic trousers are ideal options. Just ask the ultra-chic, Thom Browne-wearing VIP front row that included the likes of Evan Mock, Amandla Stenberg, and more.

Parading to “A Moment Like This,” models used the finale walk to show off their individuality, playfully strolling and engaging with the crowd who, for a moment, were transported from the industrial streets of the city to a far away fairytale. And as the brand’s statement aptly put “new york…the chairbear declares…the place where you come to find yourself.”

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