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Brief Published: 10 Sep 2013

NYFW S/S 2014: Thom Browne


Thom Browne is fast-becoming the ‘l’enfant terrible’ of New York Fashion Week, offering theatre, drama and intensely thematic collections each season. Spring/Summer 2014 was no exception as Browne experimented with the concept of insanity, using white as the clinical base colour for bold silhouettes that bounced between the fantastical, the historical and sometimes bordering on the disturbing. 

Browne referenced the straitjacket through bound silhouettes, while bulbous shoulders, sculpted hips and high necks lent an Elizabethan feel to the subversive aesthetic. His use of latex is particularly worth noting, as laser-cut sheaths of the material were layered over pieces, giving a twisted, sterile finish to several looks.

Beauty was one of the most talked-about elements of the show, with late actor Heath Ledger’s iconic Joker-inspired make-up completing the picture of Browne’s asylum. A thick chalky base with smudged, ‘Chelsea smile’ red lips, blackened eyes and powdered, unruly hair made for a ghostly look, which was only heightened when paired with the 16th-century-inspired looks.

Browne’s avant-garde vision stands out among New York’s roster of contemporary boutique labels that are rapidly giving NYFW a reputation for being the most commercial of the four top-tier fashion weeks.