A wooden structure plus rows of school desks make a classroom. But what do a bicycle hanging upside down from the thatched roof along with some branches and a set of brogued legs sticking out underneath the floor make, if anything? It’s futile trying to decipher what goes through Thom Browne’s mind. It’s fun however to sit back and enjoy the spectacle it produces. The look names in the show notes did offer a clue: Geisha Portrait, Cherry Blossom, Flying Crane, Mount Fuji. We’re in Japan. And wait, wasn’t that the Kill Bill soundtrack?
Browne took on the school uniform, a task also undertaken by Hood By Air’s Shayne Oliver earlier this week, although where Oliver tore and barely reattached Browne added and added and added some more. Even the Pippi Longstocking braids stood to attention through the roofs of Stephen Jones’ straw hats. Short pinstriped blazers and kilts featured all sorts of fabric intarsia (more on those soon), patches of gingham and tweed seemed to peel back like wallpaper on a wall, while the shirts underneath grew longer and started to peek underneath until they nearly hit the floor. On the suiting and coats: blossoms and geishas, countryside scenes, stars, koi and cranes and dragons. Once colour was introduced, in pale blues and pinks, these became even more animated, as if the models were paper dolls and Browne had got a big packet of Japanese stickers and gone all out! When the bride showed up stomping through the classroom – thump, thump - her Chesterfield overcoat in white astrakhan and mink, her blazer and tiered skirt awash with sequins, the girls stood up. If you looked closer under the veil you’d see she was wearing an eye patch.