“Tiny, Preppy Frankensteins” or, When Pink & Green Is Not Preppy

Hello-Hello, and Happy Wednesday.

Today we are brief, focusing primarily on a topic we have chatted about before, it’s something that rolls around every 6 months or so. It has to do with Fashion Week and it’s more-than-silly. Any ideas yet? Could it be a certain menswear designer? Who also does the Black Fleece line for Brooks Brothers? Does this help?

Jacques Brinon/AP via Washington Post

Yes indeedy, it is time once again for the Princess to pounce, Thom Browne’s runway show closed out men’s fashion week in Paris.

Not everyone thought highly of the presentation, as seen in this story by Jeffrey Felner:

There comes a point when a designer pushes the envelope too far and sends out a collection that is so absurd and so outrageous that it might be called an insult to the intelligence of those in the audience and maybe even just a colossal waste of time.  Mr. Browne who has never been known for anything other than shock for shock value may have outdone himself this time.

Perhaps the nautical styles will be more appealing.

Thom Browne Facebook Page

Or not.

More from Mr. Felner’s story.

…this is not theater, this is not pushing the envelope, this is completely and patently absurd and which would have qualified for a circus side-show rather than a runway presentation.

Here is a different perspective from Maura Judkis in the Washington Post Style blog:

Browne, who is known for playing with the proportion on men’s suits, sent models lurching down the runway like tiny, preppy Frankensteins in oversized, shoulder-padded suits. The show called to mind several influences, among them Herman Munster, “Beetlejuice,” varsity football, WASPs, S&M and golf.

“Tiny, preppy Frankensteins.” Somehow that phrase is troubling.

Maybe if we take a look at some of the pink and green in the collection we’ll see something to like.

Thom Browne Facebook Page

Maybe not.

The WaPo blog points out that “preppy patterns adorned Browne’s oversized suits.”

Thom Browne FB Page/Jacques Brinon/AP via The Washington Post

Technically, there are some motifs one might find at actual prep retailers. Here is what really had me howling, a caption from one of the photos accompanying the Washington Post blog:

Browne was also inspired by S&M culture. Here, a model walks the runway in a preppy-patterned studded bondage hood.

Seeing the words “preppy-patterned studded bondage hood” made my eyes bleed, while I was simultaneously reaching for the whiskey bottle for a quick nip to kill the pain antacids.

The Times review of mens’ fashion week included this about the show.

Everybody had a laugh at Thom Browne’s “Jocks and Punks” show, with mounds and mounds of shoulder padding that nearly ate the models’ heads.

We do love a little argyle every now and again, perhaps a spot of that will diminish our critical reaction.

Jacques Brinon/AP via The Washington Post

Then again, it might not.

Back to Mr. Felner’s story in the Examiner:

As far as I am concerned, this is a collection that should be mocked and held up as an example of what is wrong with fashion today.  20 and 30 something editors and fashion victims who declare this as fabulous deserve to be fired and magazines that show this as editorial deserve to be boycotted by the fashion cognoscenti.”

Delphine Achard/Women's Wear Daily

I doubt “silly” was meant in a complimentary or lighthearted way in WWD‘s review:

In yet another silly show, the American fashion prankster paraded two breeds of tough guy: the S&M punk and the bulked-up American sportsman.

To be fair, yours truly is absolutely the last person on the planet Mr. Browne would target as a potential customer, we’re not at all the person he is designing for, nor is The Consort, far from it. But this one was just so ridiculously overdone I couldn’t resist sharing it with our treasured readers, after all, we have suffered through more than one collection by Mr. Browne together.

There is a related story that is very funny, a reporter for The Mirror (UK) decided to do his own version of the look for a story on how appealing the styles would be in London.

Purely in the interest of scientific research, I created my own monstrous version of the outfits seen at Thom Browne’s Paris Fashion Week show– all oversized shoulder pads like something from 60s TV show The Munsters.

The Mirror UK

He looks very chic, no?

The Mirror UK

You can read Steve Myall’s story and see more photos by clicking here.

One other quick note: in our preview of new and cool things coming to the Princess we shared a new bracelet Kiel James Patrick designed exclusively for the Preppy Princess. It is from Kiel’s just-launched Triton Collection.

Kiel James Patrick Exclusive Preppy Princess Bracelet

We promised to let people know the price and availability; they bracelets are $38, we expect to start shipping them around the 8th of February. You can pre-order yours by clicking here.

G’bye until next time!


Filed under Argyle, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion

7 responses to ““Tiny, Preppy Frankensteins” or, When Pink & Green Is Not Preppy

  1. Ah. The theatrical elements of a show. How to parse this in a time of lack ‘o the realm of avant garde. It becomes an esoteric judgment as to whether this should be indulged and perhaps encouraged, even appreciated or whether this should be discouraged, stick to the clothes, the real clothes.

    I differ from Mr. Felner in that sticking one’s creativity on the line, testing boundaries, is how we move from this proportion and silhouette to another.

    These are hardly the clothes that the very elegant Thom Browne customer will be purchasing … but the silhouette of tighter, leaner, dashes of (dare I say) preppy happy color will splash the field of austere because all that was grim and tight and staid must loosen or there would be a lack of renewal.

    JP Gaultier shocked and horrified some with cone bras in the ’80’s, suitable for private rock stars to perform in and even entire tour wardrobes. Karl Lagerfeld horrified a bourgeois image of luxurious fashion in his early days at Chloe by showing, gasp horror, Frye boots with floor length Chinoiserie evening dresses and the following spring white Keds with everything.

    Rae Kawakubo’s padded and twisted dresses with camouflage makeup all done with a rigid walk that was hardly the pretty femme image of supermodels on the runway in the ’80’s brought us to rethink and reassemble our ideas of fashion and beauty.

    I adore the courage and the drama of Thom Browne and urge one to consider theater, even that of John Galliano (did anyone do it better) as how we emotionally move from mood to mood, and the impeccable classic tailoring of Thom Browne is better than most. His website is a sartorial dip in old world elegance. And I adore the contrast and am worried at how easy it is to dismiss a show. And that was some show.

    Noone will wear those clothes, not even on Halloween. But I suspect that the play of large and small proportions will resound for the next two seasons until it is disbursed at the JCPenney level and something different this way comes.

    To the ones who are rebels, who think differently ….

    Bravo. This is how we roll forward.

  2. I certainly hope his models were well-compensated! It would take a very large paycheck for me to be seen in any of those costumes. There is something to be said for pushing boundaries, but I’m afraid most people would agree that those clothes are quite “silly”, indeed.

  3. Madeleine Gallay certainly has a point about testing the limits of fashion. But now that Thom Browne has pulled off this show, he has used up his 15 minutes of fame.
    Alexander McQueen constantly tested the limits but with such artistic vision that it would be honor to wear even his most outrageous designs.
    Thom Browne, not so much.

  4. I love a good pink and green story almost as much as navy and green, but not when I feel like I need to run the other way. Would you call this Goth Prep?

  5. This is not fashion, it’s just attention-seeking. Boo.

  6. Those pink and green outfits with the masks are just hysterical!! Enjoyed this post….

  7. Sandra

    I never thought I could be terrified by pink/green ;-). But ….. I will for sure be sporting a KJP PP bracelet – how cute with Lilly P!! Just wanted to say hey and I’m still reading your wonderful blog, even though I rarely comment! Thanks for your posts!! XOXO

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