Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: Gamme Bleu

Fall 2009: Thom Browne gets tangled up in Bleu


Everybody's favorite "just gotta be me" design wonder boy Thom Browne has been taking the continent by storm as of late. Last week he was a guest designer at Pitti Immagine Uomo, a men's fashion trade show in Florence, where he treated guests to a cadre of identically clad office drones clacking at their typewriters and eating their lunches in unison.

Today he showed Moncler Gamme Bleu ("Gamme Bleu" means "blue range"), a collaboration with French outerwear maker Moncler, on a fir-tree lined, indoor, faux snowslope at La Triennale di Milano, accompanied by the strains of "The Lonely Goatherd," a song from the "Sound of Music." Although the capacity and crowd and a narrow space the width of a bunny slope prevented me from getting runway adjacent to the collection, the above photo should give you a rough idea of the snow globe acid trip that was going on amid a flurry of faux flakes and swirling clouds of dry ice.

The collection was presented in three color groups: gray, which included suits, sport coats and more technical cold-weather gear in Browne's favorite shade with tweeds and camouflage mixed in; navy, which made for a more Ivy League-inspired look; and white, ostensibly inspired by the uniforms of the Berlin Olympics.

Browne is a designer whose own aesthetic is off-puttingly severe, and his Black Fleece collaboration with Brooks Brothers, which sounded like a nonstarter from the get-go, is now a toddler with the best traits of both parents, so we can't wait to get our mittens on the Moncler pieces for a closer look.

And despite a few crazy pieces here and there, what convinced me that the city that loves its shiny nylon Moncler puffer jackets might shrug into Bleu were the two fellows guarding a fir tree next to me, clad in matching gray cordura nylon -- pieces from the Browne collection. It wasn't until I asked one of them for any press materials on the collection did I realize I was chatting with a couple of models who had simply gone apres ski.

-- Adam Tschorn

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Photo: Moncler Gamme Bleu Fall/Winter 2009 at Milan men's fashion week.


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