Photos: Katherine Lowe
There’s a risk a designer takes when he selects one of the final slots of the week on the show schedule. Attending presentations and glamorous soirees might sound like a lot of swanning around, but by the end of it all, the audience can start to feel (and look) like they’ve hit a brick wall. It’s a risk that Thom Browne has taken twice – first last season, when he showed his fantastical 1950s astronauts in the former Communist party headquarters of Paris, and again last night at the grand ballroom inside the Westin Hotel on Place Vendome.
Inside, a banquet was in progress. A 15 metre table laden with roasted turkeys and fruit and wine and taxidermy magpies sat before the crowd, around which 40 boys in white lead makeup picked daintily at their plates of corn kernels and julienne carrots.
It was a turn of the century dinner party, but conversation was scant. Instead, every so often, a select group of guests – dressed in Thom Browne period costume – would circumambulate the table at a snail’s crawl.
Thom Browne is not one to shy away from going the whole hog, and thus, alongside the typical shrunken grey suit (of which there was just one), a raft of 19th century characters appeared in appropriate garb. The Artful Dodger strolled out, cane in tow, with breeches and overcoat trailing to the floor. There were passively monk-strapped valets in maroon short pants, with plaited-woolen-beanies-as-wigs hanging from their heads. And in one of the more hilarious moments of the season, The Boogie Down Bronx kid himself, Yuri Pleskun, sauntered past wearing a dove grey, tres femme woolen pinafore.
A calculated risk can pay dividends, and where fashion shows are concerned, Thom Browne is a sure thing. At the end of a long, cold season, when collections are merging into one another and you’ve exhausted all your adjectives for describing a pair of pants, all one can really ask for is to be entertained. Thom Browne is the host with the most.