NEW YORK – The 500 members of the audience were sitting in neat rows, and they definitely got the note on the attire: they were all perfectly dressed in a classic gray Thom Browne suit.
They were also very calm, perhaps because they knew that Browne’s concert on Friday night was a special occasion, held in New York and not in Paris, where he usually gives concerts, coinciding with Monday’s Met Gala. But also probably because they were stuffed animals.
To be precise, these were teddy bears, lined in small chairs to hear a motivating “Teddy Talk”.
It was another Browne extravaganza, more of a play or performance than a catwalk show, this time with an unusually playful atmosphere. In his screenplay, Browne – a consummate showman who is also one of the most successful designers in the United States – sought to educate the crowd of bears and humans (in larger chairs) on how to find his true self. In this case, Browne said, we all have a more exaggerated and crazy “toy version,” but one that is worth connecting with.
How did this high concept connect with fashion? That’s a question Browne answers, thankfully, with sets that are small feats of creative engineering. Here, his toy theme has ranged from countless versions of his classic gray suit, cropped and pleated in brightly colored silks, to his whimsical handbags and shoes, such as letter block handbags and platform shoes, or handbags. ” Hector “, inspired. by his own dog, extended to toy ponies and other nursery creatures.
The show, performed in an airy theater in the far west of Manhattan, began with two huge doors open in an imaginary store. A few shoppers came in with tweeds and tall hats, resembling kitchen pipes, a vaguely 19th century look. One group carried an extra-long “Hector” bag with three sets of handles.
“New York, where are you,” the soundtrack announced. “A lifelong search, a lifetime of questions … definitive and complete answers.” It started with “Teddy Talk”.
The speaker or “head bear” was dressed in a short Browne gray flannel suit, but with a plush-themed hat and sheepskin gloves and platform boots. Through the soundtrack, he told his audience full of bears about his favorite New Yorkers who got lost, until they came to this store, “to find their true selves.”
It was followed by a procession of 25 elegantly dressed adults, both women and men with various tweeds and flannels, but with the classic look illuminated with bright colors: red, white and blue ornaments, or sometimes gold and green. Her hair was styled in topiary-like dramatic creations, which were equivalent to modern sculptures. But the fantasy element was yet to come: a second procession of 25 more models, each from a “toy version” of one of the previous 25.
These human toys had makeup with blemishes and exaggerated features. The toys they represented were old-school, like the Slinkys, those classic blocks of the colored alphabet or jack-in-the-boxes. Every “adult” element has been exaggerated, sometimes literally blown up to fantastic proportions. The accessories were particularly fancy, especially those shoes with letter blocks, literally stacks of blocks that, it must be said, were better navigated by female models than by men.
In the front row were recent Grammy winner Jon Batiste, wearing a plaid Browne suit, and actor-musician Leslie Odom Jr. with a set of cream-colored shorts, among others. Anna Wintour of Vogue, three days away from the Met gala she directs, was joined by Andrew Bolton, head of the Met Clothing Institute and curator of the gala’s “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” exhibition. Bolton is also Browne’s life partner.
The culmination of the storytelling was a “meeting” of the two groups, when the adults and their toy versions came out again, then saw each other face to face and talked to each other, laughing and smiling.
Models laughing and talking on the catwalk? That may have been the most unique element of all. “Looking for your true self,” the speaker chanted at the end. “Unique. Authentic. Confident. Always be true to yourself. “
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Thom Browne celebrates a “Teddy Talk” in a playful themed toy show
Source link Thom Browne celebrates a “Teddy Talk” in a playful themed toy show