Moncler and Thom Browne are swell on wheels
When it was first announced, I thought Thom Browne's collaboration with Brooks Brothers was an odd pairing, but once I saw the clothes I thought it was sheer genius since it was the perfect combination of the best each had to offer.
When Browne's collaboration with Moncler (called Moncler Gamme Bleu) was announced, I didn't know much about the Italian brand besides the ubiquitous down-filled puffer jackets, and pairing Captain Short Pants with a brand known for its ski gear seemed an odd match. But after seeing the Spring/Summer 2011 collection wheeled out (literally) at a Milanese velodrome Sunday, I'm convinced that Browne's side projects away from his namesake line (which he will be showing during the upcoming Paris Fashion Week) are a win-win for everybody involved.
Inspired by the sport of cycling (hence the velodrome), and bike races such as the Tour de France, the second spring/summer collection for the label adds the kind of technical details found in cycling gear (gussetted shoulders, extended rounded hems in the back) to classic tailored suits, trench coats, capes, cardigans and Oxford cloth shirts.
The color palette included Browne's signature red, white and blue combinations and the obligatory shades of gray as well as a big-wheeled bicycle graphic that was splashed liberally throughout, printed on bike shorts and jacketes and embroidered into knit ties. The collection also includes cycling caps, gloves and shoes.
Although watching the models cycle through the collection was a refreshing change of pace (especially to the strains of Queen's "Bicycle Race"; check out the video below) the best part was finally figuring out the reason behind Browne's penchant for short pants. Turns out they're kind of just a dress-up version of bike shorts.
-- Adam Tschorn in Milan, Italy
Photos: Looks from the Moncler Gamme Bleu Spring/Summer 2011 runway collection presented at the Velodromo Vigorelli during Milan Fashion Week. Credits: Moncler Gamme Bleu. Video courtesy of Moncler Gamme Bleu.