Oh dear. Oh my goodness. You know, The Princess had concerns upon hearing the news that designer Thom Browne was to be the company’s first Guest Designer for the newly created Black Fleece line at Brooks Brothers. Not to say Mr. Browne is not fully credentialed in his craft, as he most certainly is. Our question was, and remains, is this the sort of attire one associates with the Brooks customer?
In case you missed (there’s a generous use of the word) Mr. Browne’s collection for the 2007 Fall/Winter season, here is a sampling. Most may be found at select brick and mortar stores and at Brooks Brothers online. While TP detests conversations involving the M word, we do feel compelled to venture onto such loathesome ground in an effort to better illustrate the concerns. Many of the Browne Black Fleece items are on sale and significantly discounted. The Men’s Boiled Wool Morning Coat was originally $2900 and may now be acquired for a mere $1450, while the Down Vest is available at $750, half of its original price. Yours for the ordering.
Now to be fair, TP feels compelled to share some of the Women’s line from Mr. Browne, as it held promise. There were several items we wouldn’t be completely ashamed to haul out of the walk-in, as seen below. We don’t know exactly where we would find ourselves adorned in the elegant Cashmere Morning Coat, but we do completely adore the grey Cashmere Coat Dress.
It is simply the overall collection that is well… ahhh… well, it is basically hideous when the conservative customer base Brooks hypothetically caters to is taken into the equation. Really. This defines the popular question: What were they thinking? Oh, but perhaps you were harboring hope that the Spring/Summer Collection would be an improvement?
We can only imagine your haste to purchase the Classic Madras Jacket for the man in your life, and at $1,900 (with matching pants available for an additional $700), how can you go wrong? Yes, quite. The Women’s Cotton Double-Breasted Jacket also has matching pants, and is not quite the disaster the men’s madras is, but we don’t know too many women who shop Brooks who would be comfortable with this sort of suit. However, once again we must be fair: Mr. Browne provides the Women’s Collection with some tasteful additions, such as the lovely Linen Pleated Back dress (although we could find no photos showing the back of the garment), along with the Linen Cropped Sleeve Tunic. But overall, we remain stunned by the sheer level of the debacle the Men’s line represents. Is the Brooks customer, the preppy traditionalist interested in the sort of attire shown in the Browne collections? You be the judge.