To be sure, the year 2020 has many of us thinking about the future — either because we’re scared of it (need I list why?), or because we’re eagerly awaiting a time when the Covid-19 crisis is a distant memory. American designer Thom Browne, too, has the future on his mind — but of course, this being Thom Browne, the vision is a bit more creative than most.
Instead of a fashion show, the Thom Browne Spring 2021 collection debuted at the opening ceremony of the world’s first lunar Olympic games, held in a digital replica of the Los Angeles coliseum in a crater of the moon in the year 2132. (The accompanying video is packed with plenty of clever jokes about holding a sports competition in zero gravity, like divers needing to wear weighted jackets or fencers putting velcro on the bottom of their shoes.) It’s a clever workaround to Browne’s typical Paris Fashion Week-set pieces of theater, as well as a nod to Browne’s work outfitting athletic teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers and Spanish football club FC Barcelona.
Browne combines menswear and womenswear (terms which frankly don’t mean much in his world, anyway) with a line of deceptively simple all-white looks for every gender. He uses his couture-level skills to assemble oversized pleated tennis skirts and jackets, all paired with hats and reflective glasses, necessary in the solar flare exposure — this is 2132, after all. His signature trompe l’oeil technique applies to suit detailing on long dresses and sequins sparkling in the sunlight, trailing down a blazer. And Browne’s take on shirt-dressing is as fresh as it is sharp.
In the finale, the S.S. Hector — a giant replica of Browne’s signature pup-inspired bags — arrives in the stadium bearing the two torch lighters, armed only with a Thom Browne-striped lighter. If only Hector could take us all into Browne’s brave new world.
See the complete Thom Browne Spring 2021 collection in the gallery below: