When Long wrote about Thom Browne's menswear show in January, I felt a pang of jealousy: Would I ever experience such a magical runway? Full of such grandeur and specialness?
While his women's presentation wasn't as extravagant as the wild supper he put on in Paris, Browne did show the whole of New York Fashion Week up by creating a convent in the middle of the New York Public Library. Guests were asked to line up against one wall as two boys knelt at a makeshift altar, humming something those of us without religion only know as hymns. Soon enough, the altar boys greeted a set of nuns in full dress and incredibly thick and long false eyelashes, removing their habits one-by-one to reveal plaid suiting, cocoon dresses, stripy yankee doodle skirts, a fur-accented swing coat, and an It-bag-in-the-making. (It's essentially a square briefcase in black with gold hardware. And you're going to want it. Badly.)
My favorite piece by far was the navy baseball jacket with off-white leather sleeves and red and navy knit binding. Instead of forming a traditional hip-length shape, it was molded into a curvy knee-length dress.
Of course, it was all done with a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor. The first song played was "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?" from the sound of music, followed by plenty of other familiar gospels. And the was lots of bound movement--a less frigid take on Browne's straight jackets.
Before the show, as I ran up the stairs of the library, nearly tripping on my Theyskens' Theory trousers, I ran into a friend, who was leaving the first presentation. (Instead of holding one runway show, Browne showed every 30 minutes from 5.15-7pm.) He said to me, "Go enjoy it--it's something really special." Special indeed. Thank you Thom Browne, for making Fall 2011 memorable.
**Photos by Imaxtree.