Thom Browne, fashion's favorite showman, didn't disappoint Tuesday, presenting a handful of tailored menswear looks inside a mirrored cube accessorized by polished chrome office furniture.
There were only 27 looks in all -- slight variations on the gray suit in its now instantly recognizable shrunken silhouette -- but thanks to the fun-house reflections it seemed like hundreds and hundreds of gray-suited drones. Which was exactly what the designer had in mind.
"It was about focusing on my menswear uniform and multiplying it to infinity," Browne said during the presentation at New York Fashion Week: Men's, "and about what my business is and has been."
The resulting art installation/fashion presentation, called "Officeman," paired some elements from his past shows -- like the tanker desk in the middle of the room that was a homage to a show at a menswear event in Florence, Italy called Pitti Uomo -- with influences of Orson Welles' "The Lady From Shanghai" and Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey."
The multiplicity of mirrors may have made for a memorable presentation, but it also served as the perfect way to showcase every last detail -- from every conceivable angle -- of the label's exquisite tailoring. The striped linings of the car coats were visible by staring at the floor, as were the hems of the trousers and the cuffs of the shortened jackets and shirtsleeves. And staring straight up provided a bird's-eye view of jacket shoulders and shirt collars.
Highlighting the tailoring was also part of the plan, since Browne, just days earlier, had announced he had established an in-house tailoring facility and brought Rocco Ciccarelli, his longtime tailor, on board as well.
"Bringing the tailoring in-house is really the big story this week," Browne said. "It's going to allow us to have greater control of the quality and to elevate that part of the business."