Moncler Gamme Bleu
June 19, 2010 Milan
Of course, it's fashion that's his game, and he plays it very well. His Gamme Bleu collections for Moncler have boosted the company's profile to the moon, changing the look of Milanese streets in the process and proving that, as a designer, there's more commercial nous to him than people originally imagined. He has given Moncler's extreme-sports legacy a surreal, seductive, and intelligent update.
This season, Browne took the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia as inspiration, borrowing competitive cycling items such as zipped racing tops and shorts, adjusting his cuts by extending jacket hems at the back (even adding a peplum effect here and there), and inserting gusseting to ease body movement in his tailoring. He also introduced a Neapolitan ice cream color palette—pink, white, brown—before closing with a classic biker jacket in black leather, a wittily tough little kicker at the end of all that precise, even pretty clothing.
A pair of Thom Browne shorts fit almost as snugly as the spandex kind worn by cyclists anyway, so the theme just gave him a chance to do what he loves most: put on a show. He had his models—dozens of them—parade all the way around the Milan Velodrome before mounting the line of bikes in the center of the field and taking them around the track (to Kraftwerk's "Tour de France" and Queen's "Bicycle Race," naturally). It was the most fun a fashion crowd could have, and a shrewd commercial move to boot.
The cyclists kept spinning around the track while an orchestral medley of Beatles songs blasted out of the Tannoy (Browne's favorite band, the Beatles, played at the Velodrome in 1965). The music was loud enough that carloads of Milanese pulled up outside to find out what was going on. How could you possibly explain it to them?