Thom Browne, Lily Donaldson on Exhibit

Today in Women's Wear Daily, reporter Whitney Beckett goes "undercover" to test out how Thom Browne is being sold to Brooks Brothers' customers. (I s
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Today in Women's Wear Daily, reporter Whitney Beckett goes "undercover" to test out how Thom Browne is being sold to Brooks Brothers' customers. (I s
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Today in Women's Wear Daily, reporter Whitney Beckett goes "undercover" to test out how Thom Browne is being sold to Brooks Brothers' customers. (I should confess now that Whitney and I were partners in crime at Duke, so her new extracurric intrigues me, but also: How does a groomed Texas blonde go "undercover" at Brooks Brothers? With a fake lisence from Connecticut? Questions for another day, and another girl.) Anyway, Whitney found the Brooks Brothers' / Thom Browne merger to be fun and slightly overpriced, just like Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art, where I went today and saw an exhibit of Thom Browne's clothes. They hung as part of a show on industrial design. There were also some pieces by Narciso Rodriguez, Zero Maria Cornejo, Nike, and Kid Robot, plus an actual robot that said "Hey baby, gimme five" when you walked past it. The offer was tempting, but instead I camped out by the Thom Browne stuff to see how museumgoers would react. The place has a neat policy of letting anyone under 18 in for free, so there were lots of families and especially (for some reason) lots of preteen girls. Sort of funny: Most didn't understand the clothes were actually for men. "That's a pretty jacket," said one, staring at a blazer threaded with silver tinsel. "Like in The Parent Trap, the old one," said another girl to her friend, as she pointed at long, slim shorts. Sort of predictable: Most adults said something about the pants being too short. But it's still interesting to consider whether Mr. Browne's silhouette will one day flood the mainstream, or whether it's just something for hipsters, fops, and really cute skinny guys. At the other end of the design hall were wigs designed by Orlando Pita, showcased along with an image of Mr. Pita with Lily Donaldson, which appeared two years ago in Vogue. I took the Lily D. sighting as my cue to leave, but not before the robot called "Hey baby" again as I searched for the exit.