Thom Browne Women’s SS2017 show began in a tile mosaic set inspired by a Slim Aarons poolside photograph. A procession of 30 models dressed in overdyed silk gazar, floral caftans and bathing bonnets sauntered around the glistening tiled pool in groups, while playfully chattering and gesturing, as an upbeat 50s tune from Nelson Riddle filled the room. 4 male “cats” in seersucker shorts suits ambled around the women.
With a shift into a melodic hymn, the party came to a halt and the goddess entered. Cats quickly came to stand by her side and models lined both sides of the pool. The goddess was head to toe in silver sequin and bugle bead hand embroidery with a mirror embroidered headpiece modeled after Thom Browne’s wirehair dachshund, Hector.
As she slowly walked around the pool; mesmerized models removed their caftans and bonnets. Pool boy “birds” in feathered suits anxiously cleared the discarded garments and the models lining the pool revealed their looks of colorful tailoring worn underneath the caftans. One by one the models began to take their walk around the pool to music from the Valley of the Dolls soundtrack.
Once all the models were back in place along the sides of the pool, a music shift back to the melodic hymn brought the goddess to the center of the pool. The lights dimmed and with Space Talk by Asha Pulthi, the goddess transformed into a disco ball, rotating slowly as her mirrored headpiece reflected light throughout the room.
The 30 models unzipped trompe l’oeil intarsia shift dresses that fell to the ground leaving the models in one and two-piece halter swimsuits of red, white and blue striped cashmere. Finally, as the cats and birds removed the final garments from the scene, the models slinked into seated poses around the mosaic pool and the disco goddess continued her revolving stance.
Taking cues from the structure of wetsuits, this season’s silhouettes took the form of trompe l’oeil shift dresses with the appearance of classic single and double breasted suiting with shirts and ties, sweater sets, sack jackets and overcoats, all with various lengths of pleated, A-line and straight cut skirts, along with dresses paired with cropped jackets or even a cardigan tied at the waist, and 3 piece tuxedos with bowties.
The dress worn by the goddess was a trompe l’oeil dress made to look like a grey, sleeveless, seersucker “suit and tie” under a one shoulder, long-sleeve gown. Each look had a zipper that ran the entire length of the back to tie in the wetsuit inspiration that was seen throughout the Thom Browne Men’s SS2017 collection.
The fabrications included summer weight suiting of cotton oxford, coated oxford, linen, bonded wool cotton, cotton tweed, seersucker tweed, and selvedge wool 100s. Other fabrics used were duchesse silk, seamed grosgrain ribbon, scuba knit, cotton bonded flyweight deerskin, double gazar, silk chiffon, double organza, silk crepe, sheer tweed, silk hand loom tweed, washed silk satin, Swakara corduroy mink, sheared mink and cashmere knit.
Some of the fabrics were embellished with hand and machine embroidery of satin stitch and velvet tufted florals, silk tufted pearl, coverstitch, as well as 3D palm frond machine embroidery, white bullion hand embroidery and sequin and bugle bead hand embroidery. Intricate appliqué of radial ribbon, grosgrain ribbon, silk crepe and cotton tulle were applied throughout the collection.
The headpieces were created through a collaboration with Stephen Jones and included bathing bonnets, mink cat masks, feathered bird masks and the mirror embroidery Hector headpiece worn by the goddess. The accessories featured nautical cutout wedge heels and nautical sunglasses featuring shapes such as sailboats, anchors, fish, whales, and life preservers. The bags included pastel floral and checkered print Hector bags and pastel checkered briefcases as well as floral print leather beach bag totes. The jewelry created by Sarah Jane Wilde included various oversized, vintage inspired rings.