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69 posts tagged "Thom Browne"

Thom Browne Lends His Magic Touch to Queen of the Night


Thom Browne

What’s the biggest difference between designing stage costumes and runway looks? Functionality, according to Thom Browne, who’s made more than eighty outfits for the forthcoming interactive theatrical experience, Queen of the Night. The endeavor marks Browne’s first foray into stage garb—a somewhat surprising fact, considering his proclivity for dramatic fashion week displays (cue models tied down to beds, white-powdered catwalkers teetering about a padded room in sculptural frocks, and gentlemen in exaggerated military garb marching through Paris’ École Militaire). “In regards to creating a fantasy, this was very similar to what I do in my runway collections,” explained Browne. “But I don’t always think about functional clothing, so that was the greatest challenge. These are circus performers, so you have to make sure that they can move in the garments.”

Created by Sleep No More‘s Randy Weiner and his Variety Worldwide co-partners Simon Hammerstein and Murtaza Akbar, Queen of the Night will open on New Year’s Eve at the Diamond Horseshoe—a famed thirties vaudeville theater which, set at the bottom of a deadly spiral staircase, has been restored to its Art Deco glory under the watchful eye of the play’s creative director, Giovanna Battaglia. The show promises to be as grand as its venue, and features acrobats that hang from the ceiling; a bubbling, smoking cocktail “distillery” that looks more like a laboratory than a bar; a food performance by artist Jennifer Rubell (whole pigs will be presented to guests on spits, roasted chickens will be served in cages); and a labyrinth of secret back rooms where theatergoers can have one-on-one adventures with the Browne-clad actors.

Loosely based on The Magic Flute, the surreal tale of love, turmoil, and lessons learned stars Martha Graham principal dancer Katherine Crockett. Her regal character was inspired by such bon-vivant society women as Peggy Guggenheim and Marchesa Luisa Casati, an Italian heiress and muse who supposedly once proclaimed, “I want to be a living work of art.”

Thom Browne's Queen of the Night SketchAs you can see from Browne’s sketch (left), which debuts exclusively here, the designer will transform Crockett into just that. “The costume itself is overwhelming in size and scale. It has an ecclesiastic, otherworldly sensibility,” said Browne of the leading lady’s ensemble, which comprises a massive embellished cape, a “very sexy” frock, and an astounding amount of beading and embroidery. “There are also some fantastic anatomical references,” Browne noted, pointing to pairs of hands that seem to grasp at the hips, ankles, and shoulders of Crockett’s look.

A troop of twenty butler characters will wear Browne’s signature cropped suits (with a twist, he assures us), and every element of his designs—no mater how fantastical—will play a role in the story. “You know, I based the costumes on the Marchesa, and wanted to create a whole world for somebody that just lives the most unbelievable, spectacular life,” offered Browne. “I want it to be a real fantasy experience for everyone.”

For tickets and further information on Queen of the Night visit

Photos: (portrait); Thom Browne (sketch)

Teddy Bears Get All Dressed Up for Charity


Charity Bears

Mark your calendars—on December 10, Mark Ronson will head to New York’s Highline Ballroom to host The Other Ball: a soiree and auction whose proceeds will go to Arms Around the Child. Founded by Leigh Blake, the charity aims to provide struggling children in developing countries with a loving home, medical treatment, protection, and education. Underwritten by Topshop, the event will feature performances from The Black Keys, A$AP Rocky, Lykke Li, and more. And if the party isn’t enough to get you in a giving mood, the one-of-a-kind teddy bears up for auction most certainly will. Christian Louboutin, Alexander Wang, Topshop’s Topman, Opening Ceremony, Thom Browne, Simon Doonan, and Chromat have each put their own spin on the stuffed toys, which, crafted from black leather, are surprisingly subversive. “I had so much fun reimagining my bear,” offered Doonan of his buckle-and-spike-embellished design. “I channeled Helmut Newton and added a dollop of Christopher Street circa the seventies. I wanted to show that bears can be kinky, too.” Wang’s version also has a dark side, what with its silver X-eyed executioner’s mask and black studded collar. Louboutin, meanwhile, whipped up a superhero-style bear, complete with a cape and paws in his signature hue of red, and Thom Browne’s iteration is dressed in one of the designer’s unmistakable cropped suits. “We need to bring more awareness to the importance of children’s happiness, well-being, and innocence,” said Browne of the project. Each bear will go under the hammer for a starting price of $1,000, and if you can’t make it to the Ball, online and telephone bids will be accepted until noon on Tuesday. For information on bidding and tickets, visit

Photo: Courtesy Photo

A Very DSM December


Dover Street Market New YorkIt’s coming…. Last year, it was announced that Rei Kawakubo’s conceptual shopping wonderland, Dover Street Market, which already has locations in London and Tokyo, would be opening its doors in New York. But we didn’t know exactly when the Manhattan mecca would launch, until today. This afternoon, DSM revealed that the store, located on the fittingly unlikely corner of Thirtieth Street and Lexington Avenue, will bow on December 21. What treasures will be on offer, you ask? Prada, Thom Browne, Supreme, Simone Rocha, Christopher Kane, Alaïa, Atto, A.P.C., Rick Owens, Junya Watanabe, and a brand-new range from nineties fashion star Andre Walker are just some of the lines on DSM New York’s stock list. And don’t worry—wares from every breed of Comme des Garçons you could possibly dream of will be up for sale, too. Whether DSM will be able to transform the notoriously bland Murray Hill neighborhood into something with a little more elegance and edge is up for debate, but if anyone can do it, it’s Rei Kawakubo. For more information on DSM’s stateside arrival, read our Q&A with Comme des Garçons CEO Adrian Joffe.

Photo: Courtesy of Dover Street Market

Runway to Red Carpet: Fashion’s Award Shows and a Dressed-Up European Tour


Jennifer LawrenceThis week was highlighted by a whirlwind European press tour for the cast of Hunger Games: Catching Fire, with photo calls and premieres in London, Berlin, Madrid, Rome, and Oslo. Leading lady Jennifer Lawrence donned a bevy of gorgeous gowns to promote the second film of the trilogy. And while she mostly stuck to her red-carpet favorite, Dior (she is the face of the brand, after all), the actress did throw in a sprinkling of Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton, and Proenza Schouler. At Tuesday’s Berlin premiere, Lawrence wore a pale blue double-breasted coat-dress with printed guipure panels from Dior’s Resort ’14 range, which was a perfectly chic way to battle dropping temperatures (remember Leelee Sobieski’s black version last week? We sense a trend coming on). Elizabeth Banks also shined on the red carpet, choosing two shimmering Elie Saab Fall ’13 Couture dresses for the Berlin and Oslo premieres.

On Monday, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards and Glamour‘s Women of the Year Awards brought out a stylish crowd. Lily Collins walked the red carpet at the WOTY Awards in a silk flesh-toned gown with a plunging neckline from the Julien Macdonald Spring ’14 runway, while Lady Gaga paired a pearl-adorned jacket with a cargo-pocketed pencil skirt and tall, pearl-encrusted platform shoes from Thom Browne’s asylum-themed Spring ’14 lineup. At the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards, Ciara wore her first Calvin Klein Collection ensemble, stepping out in a tweed wrap vest and cotton twill painter’s pants, with a jacket draped around her shoulders from the Spring ’14 runway. Considering the result, we have a feeling there’s more Calvin in the singer’s future.

Here, more of this week’s red-carpet highlights.

Photo: Luca Teuchmann / WireImage

Three’s a Trend: Kinky Gloves


Gloves from Meadham Kirchhoff, Thom Browne and Undercover

Fetish has long been a favorite fashion influence: Alexander McQueen’s Spring ’98 metal-spine corset, Louis Vuitton’s Fall ’11 Night Porter collection, and Azzedine Alaïa’s iconic eighties bondage dresses come to mind. Considering its prominence over the decades, it’s perhaps no surprise that the trend has surfaced again for Spring ’14, only this time around, it’s a bit more subtle—particularly in the collections that have employed plastic or leather shoulder-length gloves.

Thom Browne turned out an haute American Horror Story: Asylum take on the trend, of sorts, in New York, replete with second-skin white latex options. These mitts featured glued-on nails, which lent a synthetic perverseness to the designer’s vision. In London, Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff of Meadham Kirchhoff hit their stride in a mashed-up collection of Jacobean flair and East London kook. Here, too, bicep-brushing gloves appeared (in python, no less). Looser than Browne’s, MK’s proposal suggested something a butcher or welder might don. And in Paris, Jun Takahashi showed a patent black pair at Undercover, which he styled with an anagrammatic top trimmed in a swath of matte black leather. That interplay suggested a charged message: The wearer of these defiant accoutrements is powerful, and entirely uninterested in conformity. Call it sartorial dominance.