Ever the showman, Thom Browne stages a stylish extravaganza | National

Models appear backstage in preparation for the Thom Browne fashion show during New York Fashion Week at The Shed, on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, in New York. Models appear backstage in preparation […]

When designer Thom Browne left New York Fashion Week four years ago to start showing his label in Paris, it left a hole in the New York calendar. No designer tells stories with his clothes in the same way, creating fashion shows that are more like elaborate theatrical productions.

Never content to simply ply his wares on a regular runway, Browne has long created complex, mystical universes, often evoking past centuries: An eerie cathedral, an 18th-century hospital operating room, a tiled swimming pool filled with bathing beauties. And his characters have often seemed to hark from another planet altogether.

Returning to New York this season — albeit only temporarily — he stayed true to this tradition, mounting a show Saturday evening that told the story of a grand old house, a magical garden and statues coming to life.

He said he wanted to focus his Spring 2022 collection — menswear and womenswear — on American craftsmanship. His collection explored classic suiting — with twists like missing pieces, asymmetrical sleeves, and various skirts for men — and also featured tulle creations for women in the trompe l’oeil style (literally, deceiving the eye.)

Guests included some of Browne’s celebrity fans: NBA player Russell Westbrook, wearing one of Browne’s signature skirts; actors like Dan Levy, Hailee Steinfeld, and MJ Rodriguez; and skier Lindsey Vonn.

Mellie Mebane

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