At the end of her show today, a reporter said to Miuccia Prada, “Golf, who knew?” “Yes,” Prada replied, “But golf as an excuse for craziness.” Thom Browne could probably relate. Sports as an excuse for craziness could serve as the credo for the collections the American designs for Moncler Gamme Bleu. Each season he manages to wring the maximum amount of enjoyment out of a different athletic endeavor. Today it was fencing’s turn. The show was set in a real club with trophies and photos of fencers lining the walls, though the giant, fluorescent sci-fi lights had been imported just for the occasion. The connection between a fencer’s padding and Moncler’s skiwear heritage is a fairly obvious one, but surely only Browne could make the link between his swordsmen’s garb and the storm troopers in Star Wars. To the tune of the movie’s “Imperial March,” his masked corps filed out and lined up against the back wall of the club. The designer then had his usual fun with uniforms, sending out such Browne-isms as a plaid codpiece, tricolor Speedos, and little pleated white skirts for men.
This was all good entertainment, but what makes Browne’s collaborations with Moncler so fruitful is that his themes also throw up so many wearable yet newly animated pieces. Today those included a zip-front bomber in a navy mesh fabric with white trim, a smart gold-buttoned pea jacket, a crisp white military jacket, and terrific suede or mesh slip-ons in navy or white with contrasting soles. In this show, Browne’s wit and his clothes were both rapier-sharp.
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