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