Leave it to Thom Browne — the Brit designer synonymous with making high waders cool — to keep the fashion industry on its toes, even amid arduous economic times. At the menswear fair in Florence this week, Browne showcased a pared-down collection of just two looks in a presentation that was nothing short of genius. Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune called it “simply perfect.”
In a faux office setting, which included a boss and his minions all dressed in identical slimly tailored suits in a setting accented by “the metallic clatter of typewriters and … modernist Mussolini architecture,” Browne alluded to the globe’s current economic suffering, as well as the fact that men can still look flawless while toiling away at their dead-end jobs. “You knew that there was a Clark Kent Superman under the prim gray cardigans, trimmed with buttons at the side and short pants (with more buttons at the back to strike a faint fetishistic note),” says Menkes. Meaning, despite the office-drone façade, the show presented an idyllic image of the modern man — one who may spend his days slaving away in a cubicle, but, who, underneath it all, is a superhero. Even in such a sour economic climate, that’s one image that sells.