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Thom Browne Fall/Winter 2013-14


“Roses are red…” and that’s about it. It’s the perfect combination to feature Thom Browne’s jaw dropping, sinister but romantic Fall/Winter 2013-14 collection here on Votre Garçon for Valentine’s Day. Thom Browne has kept me hooked ever since his womenswear debut; the Fall/Winter 2011-12 collection. And now only six seasons on; he stills keep me in wonder. What is New York Fashion Week without the magnificent showmanship of Thom Browne? Yet it is not always about the stunning presentation we see from Browne that necessarily matters; it is about the clothing. An aspect, I feel many fashion critics seem to get lost in. Lost in Thom Browne’s fairy tale fantasy. For me, this collection may have been Browne’s best so far and very much like Sally LaPointe’s Fall/Winter 2013-14 collection (see the review here), the magic hid in the details. Browne took his usual source of inspiration of tailored menswear clothing and applied it to his womenswear collection as like the previous seasons but for Fall/Winter 2013-14, femininity grew out of the menswear inspired collection, literally. Browne wanted a collection that would present an image of female empowerment which was shown through strong, boxed-like shoulder lines and clinched waists on dresses and jackets with accentuated hips. Structured, masculine shapes but with exaggerated forms of a 1940s woman’s body. Although Browne stuck to his roots of menswear tailoring; femininity grew with tattered rose lace, handkerchief hems and embroidered 3D roses that revealed a sense of chaos and madness but underlying an enchanting beauty which feminised this masculine wardrobe into powerful women. Think the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland or a sinister Brother Grimm’s tale for this collection. “Nothing perfect” Browne said with a smile, when asked about the manic looking girls dressed in tatters which for me was perfect.

As each season passes and collection reviews come raking in, I find that an underlying problem within the fashion industry develops bigger and bigger. Those who grace the audience of the Fashion Week shows and those who write the reviews become further obsessed with having everything handed to them on the plate. It feels as if people want garments to be completely open and obvious with the rejection of finding those little beautiful details in an A-line pleated skirt or a very crisp, shoulder line. As soon as an over-powering garment hits the runway, noses are turned up and the same old words appear; ‘theatrical’, ‘costume-like’, ‘non-wearable’ and ‘non-commercial’. We see the trend forecaster’s handbook influencing more and more collections as designer’s present collections visually similar to each other in order to sell, sell and sell. Has it really come to the point where creativity is out and sheep are in? Yet breakdown the glamorous side of fashion week, take away Anna Wintour and Olivia Palermo, the street style photographers, the bloggers and the critics. And we’re left with a designer, a collection and the buyers. Of course, we must remember fashion is a business at the end of the day and to produce the next collection, one must sell and in order to do that, we must answer to our clients demand. Nevertheless, are we at the point where designers only produce for their client and not for themselves? In an interview from 2009, the Central Saint Martins, MA director, Louise Wilson stated “the problem is that fashion has become too fashionable.”  So, is there no room left for creativity?

See the rest of Thom Browne’s Fall/Winter 2013-14 collection here.

Photo's Courtesy of Thom Browne and Style.com
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