Thom Browne Pushes Menswear Forward Again With 'Go Big or Go Home' Look
The king of the shrunken suit stretched his creativity.
"There's no place like gnome" could have been the mantra for Thom Browne's show held Saturday in Paris.
Guests found on their seats an oversize Candyland-style lollipop and yellow-lens sunglasses with a note from Thom asking everyone to "Please see the world through my eyes...please."
One pair of those eyes was free agent football player Victor Cruz. The wide receiver is a huge fan of Browne's, having attended at least "four or five" of the designer's runway shows. In a Thom Browne seersucker suit worn with a gold and diamond pavé nameplate necklace bearing the name of his six-year-old daughter, Kennedy, the athlete posed for pictures inside the colorful fairy tale garden complete with real live "gnomes" mowing the lawn and doling out flowers.
But for Cruz, his trip to Paris was not all play — he was also here to work on a yet-to-be-announced shoe collaboration, according to the former Giant with "a French high-end luxury brand."
King James wasn't in Paris (perhaps he's still nursing his wounds), but the carefree, relaxed attitude to sport that made him fall in love with the brand was on the runway for all to see.
The designer known for revolutionizing men's fashion by shrinking the traditional suit, this time decided to live by the go-big-or-go-home philosophy.
A men's suit jacket was enlarged to appear as a top coat with massive shoulders and done up in every primary and pastel shade under the sun. Materials such as corduroy, mink, seersucker, silk suiting, candy-stripe linens, cotton rugby stripes, for example, were shown with country club motifs like whales, lobsters, anchors, crabs — sometimes enlarged to gargantuan size — or shown in a gingham or an on-brand seersucker.
Generally, they were paired with Bermuda shorts and chinos in contrasting colors or patterns. In some cases, the jackets had short sleeves to reveal brightly colored cashmere sweaters also bearing the same preppy design patterns. Straw boater hats and round spectacles completed the look.
Just when you thought you couldn't imagine another manifestation of the jackets out came the smaller, shrunken versions that ranged from two sizes too small to a more typical fit. It made for a great statement-making finale walk as the designer paired the coordinating jackets and subsequent models wearing them together to walk hand-in-hand or arm around each other around the magical garden. The message was clear that tastes and love come in all shapes and sizes and there is something for everyone. That is unless you are a man seeking a sleek, modern business suit. For that, you will need to step out of this Thom Browne world and into his commercial world.