NEW YORK, United States — As demonstrated by Steve Jobs’ turtleneck, Mark Zuckerberg’s grey t-shirt and Barack Obama’s navy suit, uniform dressing is often seen to go hand-in-hand with intellectual freedom. Not having to think about what to wear leaves headspace for other things, so the logic goes. Thom Browne, a long time advocate of uniform dressing in his menswear collections, aims to bring the same ideas to womenswear.
It’s true that some of the aforementioned uniforms read as banal. But that’s not a worry for Browne. His gorgeous Pre-Fall proposition was at once strange and sensible. Good enough to make you want to clean out your wardrobe and start from the beginning with one of his checked blazers, a pair of bow-front loafers, a collarless short-sleeved oxford shirt decorated with a tie, attached at the nape of the neck, and a drop-waist pleated dress done in a woven jacquard flecked with snowflake-like abstracts.
Browne said that he wanted to give the collection a “true American sensibility.” Those references could be seen in the long-haired beaver stadium coat — inset at the hem and cuffs with collegiate stripes — a shrunken letterman jacket in colour-blocked patent leather and denim patches on the elbows of blazers and knees of skirts, inspired by Toughskin jeans.
He also emphasised tailoring, from the perfectly spaced pintucks on the nipped waist of an hourglass dress coat, to the down-filled jacket uniquely quilted in the pattern of his registered tartan. “I want to make sure people see that this level of tailoring can be done in New York,” Browne said. The bugle-beaded Chesterfield coat was indeed a thing of beauty.