Thom Browne, tailor. If the man hung a shingle, that's the one he'd hang. (Though he's always quick to credit his tailoring mentor, Rocco Ciccarelli, with whom he developed his trademark silhouettes.) Browne's women's collection is no less beholden to tailoring than his men's. It's the raison d'être. So, following up a Fall show that brought more eyes to his women's line than ever before, Browne doubled down. He's so confident of his tailoring that he literally turned it inside out. "Sometimes the inside of a jacket is as beautiful as the outside," he said. Inside-outer-y is not new for fashion; provocateurs have been doing it for years. But Browne comes by it honestly, and he wrung a nice balance out of the ploy, between the rigidity of his exposed seams and the cobwebby threads that dangled off several of the pieces.
What's more, there was a comelier femininity at play than has often been evident before. Browne bristled slightly at the assertion that his womenswear hasn't always had that element, but at least where his shows are concerned, he's often kept things in a dark, theatrical realm. Here the pads and puffs were dispensed with. A tweed skirtsuit with a belted Norfolk jacket and hand-painted tights was positively flirty. And a sleek coatdress shown with a heavy leather belt—its hardware matched that on the bags—had three sharp slits at the back. Sexy! was on the tip of your tongue. And then the man himself cut in: "Like gills!"