Thom Browne: Ready-To-Wear AW22

For AW22, Thom Browne took us to Toyland. Yes – you read that right. Opting to show in New York City for the second consecutive season, the namesake’s latest collection was a cartoonish, proportional playground that brought reflections of our effervescent childhoods back to life with every absurd alphabet block, paper doll and puzzle piece on display. 

When the co-ed catwalk commenced, New York served as an island of misfit toys where adults were invited to venture in search of themselves; according to Browne, it was where they found themselves too. But while offering nods to the playthings of years past, it was no kitschy Barbie Fairytopia. In reality, this was a wack-ified edit, sartorially centred around the grey wool suit. By embracing the intricacies and miscellanies of deconstructed silhouettes, fantastical detailing, energetic silk mogador jacquards and traditional tweed tailoring, Browne worked to bring kiddish drama to a more mature place. 

Coming in primary shades and collegiate colours, there’s a youthful sense of play to the avant garde asymmetrics; think balaclavas with spherical nodules protruding out like extra heads, a ball gown that’s reminiscent of a wooden soldier’s rectangular torso – sharp shoulders and all – and a life-sized knitted dachshund sewn onto a headpiece that’s named Hector after Browne’s own canine. But while the bulbous shapes of certain garments could pass for strange abscesses slowly swelling into benign tumours, the acutely youthful narrative continued to ring true. Especially when it came down to the accessories, children’s toys functioned as eccentric clutch bags in the form of cars and patchwork lobsters as well as signature Mr. and Mrs. Thom bags that imitated the ensembles they were carried beside. 

No doubt, Browne is a maven of the immensely conceptual. In fact, since 2001 he has been cementing himself as an expert craftsman adept at challenging and modernising uniforms of the zeitgeist with a deeply-rooted American identity. Choo-choo! It’s time to hop on the Thom Browne train to Toyland!

Photography courtesy of Thom Browne.

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