Olympic Games and the L.A’s Memorial Sports Coliseum were Thom Browne’s first inspirations of his Spring/Summer 2021 collection based on his L.A trip in last October.
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A few months later, the sport theme was still at the rendezvous of his Fall/Winter 2021 collection, starring this time the gold medal Olympian Lindsay Vonn.
Browne casted the alpine racing queen as his star in one of the top fashion films of the season, a 10-minute dreamlike of a tale in black-and-white that conjured the intimacy of Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and the sentimentality of Victor Fleming’s “The Wizard of Oz”, all set in pure Thom.
Directed by Carissa Gallo and shot during three days on Solitude Mountain outside of Park City, Utah, the video immediately showed the champion in a sportswear couture off-the-shoulder puffer gown fusing a half tuxedo top.
And as the minutes go by, we will discover that Thom Browne renewed here his affection to play with genders and the conventions of tailoring. Women wear men’s looks and vice versa, while sportswear meets the formal wardrobe in a clear desire to break down boundaries and take the opposite view.
He mixed and matched classic tailoring pieces: bustier-meets-tuxedos, topcoats paired with skirts, and elements of corsetry throughout. He played with imbalance and deconstruction, in particular on the asymmetrical draping of the dresses, the differences in lengths and volumes, blowing a wind of change to his label founded twenty years ago, while maintaining throughout the collection the same base: the white shirt with black bow tie. The pieces experiment with voluminous shape and detail in a series of knits, wovens, nylon, tweed, and delicate embroidery of snowflakes, mittens, and stick figures.
Here, personality and self-expression took over clothing which, moreover, was genderless and non-conforming to barriers like the greatness of the human spirit bare to the bone in Browne’s black and white winter fantasy.
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