Is it too early to call the black leather roller dog that opened Thom Browne’s show the model of the season? I think not. Dog aside, this evening was a relatively subdued affair – subdued for Browne that is. It was like a walk in the park, or a square. More precisely in Washington Square, prime Edith Wharton territory, yes, but were we there while Edith was still cannily observing her social set or was it - judging by the swingy number trying to burst through the classical soundtrack - sometime between the wars with Edith living in France by then? Through the misty square, scattered with leaves and feathers, and around the pine trees, out walked two dapper gentlemen, one holding an umbrella and the other, you guessed it, pushing his leather dachshund along. As you do.
Deconstructing and reassembling the suit for a woman’s wardrobe is Browne’s game but today he took the literal deconstruction to new extremes. The extraordinary skillset he always demonstrates was not so much applied to the mad embellishment of the materials at use (an ash blazer looked shredded like peeling wallpaper) but the more technical puzzle of his wonderfully twisted patternmaking. The train of the last evening gown was made out of light-as-air organza jackets, embroidered with dozens of whales, of course. Another, turned into a halter neck by the brilliant use of men’s suspenders and had a grey velvet mink coat suspended down its front. Halves of different jackets were seamed together, there was a trouser-fronted skirt and random scraps of ruffles were added to the mix. Simpler pieces were just as charming, like a tennis sweater elongated into a dress and a gorgeously delicate grey accordion-pleated organza dress worn with rows of pearls and sheer check socks. A woman’s wardrobe remade, beautifully, after something fierce tore through the town (a storm, a war?) and paraded proudly with a languid stroll through the square. In the end, the umbrella man came back, took the roller dog man’s hand and off they walked into the mist. But not before a woman in scarlet made one last round.