Thom Browne Fall 2011 Review

Thom Browne fall 2011 runway

Photos: Imaxtree

Looks from the Thom Browne Fall 2011 collection.

SHOW: Thom Browne (See the full runway collection)

THEME: How do you solve a problem like Maria?

ACCESSORIES: Prim, schoolmarmish pumps and oxford heels, ladylike handbags

OVERALL TAKEAWAY: His oh-so-Catholic presentation distracted a bit from the shrunken suits his fans love.

For a designer as conservative (on paper) as Thom Browne—he is, after all, the man who brought back the three-piece suit, pre–Mad Men, and he designs a line for Brooks Brothers—the guy certainly knows how to put on a show.

For Fall 2011, attendees arrived at the Edna Barnes Salomon Room at the New York Public Library and were met by candles, solemn hymns, and two male models kneeling in prayer. To the tune of “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” (yes, really!), models in full nun habits and winged headpieces shuffled in, whereupon the male models stripped them to reveal the actual women’s collection.

Elaborate? Sure. Distracting? Probably—there were no obvious religious references in the clothes, which included Browne’s bread and butter: the shrunken suit, done in colorful, mismatched plaids, tweeds and stripes.

Some of his quirks were clever—a gray wool coat had shirttail hems—while others were less successful, like a heavy wool jacket over a heavy wool dress over heavy wool pants (the results were uncomfortably bulky).

The showmanship of it all may have stolen the show, so to speak (one bulbous cape covered a calf-length cable-knit dress that could have been quite chic), but stripped down, there were some lovely pieces that might appeal just as much to the blue-blood Brooks Brothers set as to his slightly—OK, much—edgier customer.