There was some sweet irony to Thom Browne showing a tribute to uniform just hours after Lanvin did the same thing. While Lanvin's collection had a relevance to the modern menswear market, Browne's collection (as usual) just looked like costume. Usually that is matched with some spectacular show theatre, but today the catwalk frivolities had been stripped back. If that had been done to let the clothes do the talking than that was a grave mistake, these pieces had no real perspective.
At most Browne shows it's possible to see how the camp costumes will be diffused down into a commercial collection, but this S/S 14 show seemed shapes around fantasy and fetish. Other than those anchor prints - hardly a fashion invocation, you could probably get one on a t-shirt right now if you popped down to Topman - none of this had commercial potential beyond the costume department of some strange homoerotic cabaret version of 'On the Town'. From the painted red lips on each model to those high heels and that corset lacing and vinyl, models look like a walking incarnation of a closeted military son's sexual fantasy - wrong on so many levels.
Military references are a staple in fashion- think JPG's saucy sailors or even the camo fever from recent seasons - but Browne's collection shows that fashion can have too much of a good thing. That white flag - triumphantly erected at the end of the showing by a model clad in a full skirted frock coat - should have been hung at half mast as a real tragedy happened in Paris that day.