For Thom Browne’s European debut, the Pitti Uomo menswear trade show, chose the New York-based designer as their special guest for the fall season. The presentation took place at the Istituto di Scienze Militari Aeronatiche in Florence. Guests walked into a huge room full of ’50s-style desks with a vintage typewriter at each station. In walked dozens of models, all styled identically with slicked hair, camel coats, and brief cases. After “the boss” rang a bell, the models shed their coats and suit jackets in unison to reveal the designer’s trademark shrunken grey cardigan. They all tapped away, writing who knows what, while other workers marched in to collect the sheets.
Everything was so pin-sharp, from the taut tailored suits, the metallic clatter of typewriters to the modernist Mussolini-style architecture, that Thom Browne’s Florentine excursion was a pure and powerful distillation of his message. With only two outfits showcased during the entire show, the essence of Browne’s sartorial style is simplicity.
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