Avant-gardism and theatricality are stitched into
Coincidentally, the classical statues on show at the Met had inspired Browne. The designer created a magical secret garden set, lined with sculpted figures that suddenly came to life, in a high fashion version of the living statue street performers see outside many international museums. Both male and female statues threw off capes and drapes festooned with flannel flowers and strolled through the garden in their impeccable Thom Browne looks.
There were no gender distinctions for the looks – we saw men in gowns and women in strict suiting and plenty in between. Some wore tailored layers, others wore dresses that described the chiselled anatomy of ancient Greek statues or were swathed in what appeared to be classical robes – both looks were achieved with layers of tulle to create stunning trompe l’oeil effect which aped the shadows and relief of muscles or draped fabric.
Browne described the couture-level craftsmanship on these seemingly simple pieces as being, “The most special work I’ve done,” which is saying something for a man who deployed a 35 strong team to stitch 30,000 red feathers onto Cardi B’s 2019 Met Gala gown.
Photography courtesy of Thom Browne.