Haute Couture Week, which is only just three days, kickstarted today in Paris, and Thom Browne just made his debut at the highest echelon of Parisian fashion. For his first Couture show ever, the American designer gave us more suits than we could image, but they weren’t just regular suits of course. With a show set in a a theatre, but each seat taken up by a cardboard cutout of a figure wearing a grey (Thom Browne we hope) suit and sunnies while guests were seated on the actual stage, it was clear that Thom Browne was doing things slightly differently this season.
The pigeon hat stole the show
The first look to come down the runway (after luggage was placed in the middle of the room by some grey suited models) was accessorised with a pigeon hat, and it was iconic. You might’ve previously seen the brand’s functional pigeon bags, so a hat is a pretty natural progression in developing the full set – what’s next? Shoes? As otherworldly as the pigeon hat was, it’s a symbol of Paris through-and-through, merging two opposites of the city, pigeons and haute couture. It’s also a symbol of Thom Browne: arguably ridiculous but always beautifully crafted.
Literal bell sleeves, but make it Thom Browne
Thom Browne’s bell-sleeved looks made their appearance as often as you’d hear actual bells tolling from your local church. Bell sleeves were littered throughout the collection; however, they weren’t regular bell sleeves, as instead of being flared at the hem, the volume was found at the centre point with the hems cuffing at the wrist. The reason they can be called bell sleeves is because they were styled with bell-hats and a layered trompe-l’oeil jacket dress, one bell look even featuring small bells on the shoe.
The dachshund bags had their moment
As well as the pigeon, another animal made a cameo in Thom Browne’s couture collection, seen in the presence of doggy bags (literally). These uniform grey, dog-shaped bags were detailed with cartoonish faces and gold bones hanging from their collars, and – despite the IRL size of a dachshund – the bags were hefty with multiple straps, a chain and a practical handle, for easy transportation. These bags are for the people whose parents never let them have pets: who’s laughing now?
The constricting beach-side jacket
A pin-striped, grey jacket appeared in a strangely constricting silhouette somewhat reminiscent of a straight jacket, despite being decorated with the playful silhouette of a sea-side. Wide shouldered and structured, the jacket was tailored beautifully and buttoned neatly down the sleeves, restricting the wearer’s arm movements down to almost nothing. Paired with a matching, pin-striped, pencil skirt patterned with the same moody grey depiction of lighthouses and palm trees, the set looked pretty hard to move in but it paid off.
The bridal finale was Browne’s ode to romance
Thom Browne ended with a bridal look, as Couture shows usually do, but of course, Browne couldn’t just send a regular old gown down the runway: he had to experiment with it. Carried in by two helpers, also dressed in all white including their swimming caps, the bridal look consisted of a suit-jacket-turned-dress with open button details and a cutout collar and tie. Romance in a Thom Browne world is as beautiful as it is unconventional, and so undoubtedly his bride had to match by wearing her flawless, lace, white dress paired with horse-hoof inspired heels.
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