New York Fashion Week spring - summer 2013: Thom Browne

Looks from the Thom Browne spring - summer 2013 collection shown during New York Fashion Week.
(John Minchillo / Associated Press Photos)

NEW YORK -- Thom Browne returned to the Edna Barnes Salomon room at the New York Public Library to present his spring-summer 2013 women’s collection Sept. 10 during New York Fashion Week.

The inspiration: After the show, Browne told us that this season’s collection had been inspired by German painter, choreographer and sculptor Oskar Schlemmer. “And I’m continuing to expand on that whole preppy thing I started with in the men’s [spring-summer 2013] collection.”

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The look: Browne’s “preppy” meant skirts, suits, jackets, sweaters and dresses in multicolor madras, pieces in pink and orange bearing an all-over print of a preppy-style whale motif -- rendered in both whole and partially skeletized versions. Another sea-going animal appearing throughout was the seahorse in bejeweled appliqués, all-over embroidery and laser cut-out of white paper for a dress. There were a few more somber-looking black, white and gray pieces -- staid plaids and solids -- in the collection. But it was Browne’s unabashed embrace of color after a career and reputation built on what one reviewer once dubbed “actuarial gray,” that made the show feel as important as the moment in “The Wizard of Oz” when Dorothy Gale’s black-and-white world suddenly becomes one of color.

The scene: Browne’s presentation was set against a backdrop of fun-house mirrors accompanied by giant silver pinwheels and swirling black-and-white discs onto which the models would step after completing their walk. Men in Thom Browne suits and huge silver turban took turns giving the models a slow spin, which, given their ballet flats and bun-topped heads, made them seem like the ballerinas that slowly spin inside a childhood music box.

The verdict: If Tim Burton has fashion show dreams in Technicolor, this is what they’d look like. And that’s a good thing.


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