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Anchors aweigh! Brooks Brothers, Black Fleece set sail for spring/summer 2010

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NEW YORK -- It’s as American as apple pie for Brooks Brothers’ men’s and women’s spring/summer 2010 collections. A stop by the showroom at the Madison Avenue flagship here on Monday found the storied American clothier jaunting off to the Hamptons (a muted, sand-colored palette with lots of washed out khaki and an eye-catching dusty rose jacket), Palm Beach (in a Lily Pulitzer-worthy color scheme and motifs that included embroidered pink seahorses and green palm trees), San Francisco (crisp navy, black and white colors and standout cable knit sweaters), the back nine (martini glass and golf flag embroidery) and the backyard.

The predominant nautical/beachy theme pulling into port all over town this week was also in evidence, including patchwork madras, jackets with white accent stripes that recall naval uniforms and a Black Fleece collection tailor-made for Fleet Week, complete with a tone-on-tone all-over anchor embroidery on seersucker pieces (in both all-black and all-white) and a white men’s suit boasting military and maritime insignia in navy blue including ships’ wheels, anchor and star designs, and eagle-topped chevrons. (A slim-cut women’s skirt in the same design was done in soft, supple leather.)

The women’s side of Black Fleece (the collection for which Thom Browne is the guest designer) continues to expand, and this season includes pleated, gray seersucker shirt dresses, and pleated white linen Empire waist dresses.

It was also the first chance to get a sniff of the new Black Fleece scent unveiled last week as part of the Fashion Night Out festivities. There’s one for men and one for women and the first impression (perhaps not surprisingly, given Browne’s predilection for the color) reminded me of a scent launched decades ago by designer Geoffrey Beene: Grey Flannel.

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-- Adam Tschorn

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(top) is pure Americana; Black Fleece (bottom) is more overtly military and maritime. Credit: Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times.


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