Thom Browne Fall 2014 Collection

Posted on February 11, 2014

Once again, the maestro of high drama on the runway, Thom Browne unveiled a … what to call it?  Point of view, let’s say, that was part performance piece, part fashion collection. Walking into the space, we were greeted with the strong smell of incense, along with burning candles, glowing crosses, and row upon row of church pews. “Nuns are fun,” we were told was the inspiration. And while there weren’t any literal nuns that we could see, there was a succession of dramatic, beautiful, provocative looks that clearly took inspiration from the vestments and habits of Christian religious orders, as well as the pageantry and pomp of the church. All without being remotely literal. A beautiful, haunting, sometimes even melancholy show and collection that are likely to be the most memorable one of the season.




[Photo Credit: IMAXtree]

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  • dezreen

    Batshit lovely.

    • Lucía Gavello

      Very accurate! Love the capes and cape-adjacent pieces!

  • marlie

    LOVE. Some of these silhouettes are batshit crazy, but strangely beautiful. I’d actually love to see “Fashion Gaga” in some of these clothes. Very little of this is going to work on the red carpet, but they could produce some really stunning editorials.

    • icm

      funny you should use the term batshit, my first impression was that a bat was shitting on these poor girls heads turning their hair a lovely shade of guano grey. The little headpieces have a bat shaped feel to them.

      • demidaemon

        What a lovely interpretation of batshit. I seriously laughed out loud.

    • jen_vasm

      I’m just wondering which one of these coats gets distilled down to something that catches FLOTUS’s eye next fall….

  • SugarSnap108

    Holy crow. Some of these are a little too OTT for me to appreciate, and the black talons are freaky. But most of these pieces are just stunning. That last black-and-white one, where the model is actually smiling a little – J’adore.

    • Victor Beiramar Diniz

      it’s still very thom browne, but there’s something of a reversed ‘cecil beaton’s black & white ascot for my fair lady’ feeling to that particular number, isn’t there?

  • JimMcC

    Between this and the Herrera, I feel like we’ve seen the two sides of fashion week at its best. She offered stunning clothes that you could wear right off the runway. He presented a vision that is beautiful and gives you a great idea if what the real life version of those clothes could be. Two different approaches executed perfectly. Claps.

  • icm

    Is the polar vortex over? emergency thermal blankets no longer needed?

  • mila_8

    My first impression, it’s like humpty dumpty and the queen of hearts had a baby. Second impression, that twisted love child has some good ideas.

  • hughman

    I hate it but I’m not buying it so no biggie. Personally I find it derivative – McQueen, Gaultier, Commes des Garcons, Galliano – too on the nose and too eager to be annointed “art”. He designs for himself, not a real woman. But again, not my dime so I’m sure some ladies will die for it. That’s fashion!!

    • sleepycat

      I see where you would say because of the fabrics and general idea, but Browne clearly has a distinct vision. He has a very specific shape I find running wild through all his collections, which may be just the theatricality of the clothing. You cited designers that are known for grandeur and I think that it ultimately collapses the artistry that all the designers put into their respective brands.

      I agree that he might be designing for himself, but if one is at fashion week with an expensive setup, clearly the investors are making sure he designs stuff that will sell well in the end.

    • Mimi

      Just what I wanted to say. Rather than being eager to be called art, I think he just does as he does and, as you said, designs for himself. McQueen and Galliano though, definitely do design for women and it shows. I love Browne’s work for men much more.

    • ankali

      I think I don’t have a problem with him designing for himself and not a real woman because he makes no pretense whatsoever of doing the latter. I always love his collections — they’re provocative and bonkers for sure, but always impeccable, and seemingly sincere. I feel he’s closer to a peer of most of the designers you cited than a knock-off.

  • MilaXX

    Now that is how you put on a show. I love his brand of craziness.

  • Musicologie

    I love the point of view, but some of these “nuns” venture into the realm of “French maid.”

  • SewingSiren

    Some actual wearable pieces here. Love the capes and the half capes. Also the shoes, love them very much.

    • StarburstLady

      Totally agree. I’m picturing some of these pieces of Lupita, Dakota Fanning, even Meryl Streep in some of those jacket tops…

  • smayer

    Alejandro, Alejando… Ale-ale-jandro, Ale-ale-jandro…

  • fananafanafophalec

    lmao at that guy who’s on his phone in almost every shot

  • sleepycat

    Number 13 of the big images, black and white. Stunning. I really like it.

    • homofascist

      That dress is unreal…

  • icm

    I would find it most helpful if the pictures were numbered for the designer collections.When reading or making a comment it would be so much easier to say “hey the black dress in picture #3 is blah blah blah”. Instead of scrolling back and forth.Especially if every dress in the collection just happens to be black

    • sleepycat

      The file name contains a referring number. Although something on the picture, could help.

  • Mightiadd

    The show’s atmosphere might have suggested ecclesiastical, but all those leg of mutton sleeves make this collection look like Miss Havisham’s street clothes. Entertaining at the very least.

  • boweryboy

    I love Thom Browne. He does impeccably crafted craycray.

    Say what you will about the designs themselves, but there’s no question this man knows how to make clothes.

  • fursa_saida

    I like this far, far more than anything I’ve seen of his in years. Particularly the ones with the severe vertical and horizontal white markings, and the intricate black and white dress with the high collar and sort of two-layer skirt. There’s something very meditative about the whole collection, which is fitting.

  • Snailstsichr

    Would those be Bene Gesserit nuns??

    • Shawn EH

      Lady Jessica could slay her enemies in any of these!

  • quiltrx

    I have to say, some of the skirts (particularly the full and/or gored ones) are pretty great.
    And since this is the umpteenth collection for Fall with fabulous capes, I’m going to have to really commit to making myself one this year and wearing it constantly.

    • hmb

      Snaps on the cape call. I just found this gorgeous double sided fawn brown Italian wool that’s begging to be fabricated into a high necked number…

  • hmb

    Whoa. Some things just need to be seen with one’s own eye. Given your description of the mood in the room, I’ll bet it was a fascinating show!

  • He’s apparently angling to dress Kim Karshashian, with those huge hips.

  • ballerinawithagun

    Intriguing the way the arms appear longer by adding volume at the sides… Amazing as always.

  • Alloy Jane

    I <3 all of this. I <3 <3 <3 it!

  • This reads Victorian nanny in a gothic horror rather than fun nun to me. He really does have some glorious fabrics.

  • Josefina Madariaga Suárez

    This is the second collection that, to me, screams “TILDA” out loud. Love the drama of this one.

    • MK03

      Which will La Swinton wear first?

  • ovarB

    The intermix of varying textiles is to die for!!! And while the silhouettes are exaggerated to say the least, it is a delight to just look at.

  • Coleen

    I just imagined SWINTON in most of these looks, and now I am a happy BK.

  • ms_kat

    These are clothes that would be amazing on SWINTON. Plus the shoes are great and unusual.

  • PastryGoddess

    Question: Would some of these pieces be considered avant garde for the way they play with proportion and shape? Or no because they are all still wearable?

  • Diego!

    Some jackets and skirts are kinda odd, but I love this collection. It’s so eye-catching!

  • KayEmWhy

    The Gormenghast Trilogy, Titus Groan. Sorry, NO!

    • helene

      I wanted to upvote your comment! until i saw your no! i think it is an absolutely wonderful collection and i thought your gormenghast reference was spot on. just got to a different conclusion with it.

      • KayEmWhy

        I like it only for what I referenced it for, but not on the street or for celebrities.

      • Corsetmaker

        I agree… my favourite books. That would definitely be a plus point for me too.

  • VioletFem

    This is a stunning collection.

  • YoungSally

    The fabrics – le sigh. My aunt is a nun….I could have told Thom years ago that nuns are fun.

  • jw_ny

    My aunt that was a nun would have looked FABULOUS in any of these…her habit and street clothes were just a bit more on the duller side of these. 😉

    I’d love to go to a Thom Brown show…what and spectacular event!

  • jilly_d

    This is the first Thom Browne collection I’ve ever loved.

  • QuietHarper

    What a wonderfully whacked-out collection. The puffy-sleeved ones give me the vibe of Elizabethan crossed with Victorian (see especially the Armada portrait of Queen Elizabeth I) — this silhouette, while definitely not modern, has been fashionable at time. I also love the blocked, vertical ones — some of those look like they actually could be worn by real people. So gorgeous.

    • Beardslee

      Good call on the Armada portrait! I see what you mean.
      I am no Tilda Swinton, but even a mere civilian like could wear some of these things. And feel great wearing them.

  • MightyMarshal

    He’s certainly no McQueen. Or Galliano. Which is what he always strikes me as trying for. There’s such a disconnect between his marketing brand image and his runway collections. His ads are sexed up Michael Kors and his runway is poorman’s Mugler.

  • Gatto Nero

    Wild proportions; very theatrical. The less exaggerated silhouettes (#2 and 6 and maybe 13 are standouts) are interesting and wearable.
    Crazy and fearless; of questionable taste. Good for him.

  • Kent Roby

    This collection/show is less cartoon-ish than his men’s show was, with more wearable pieces (after modifying some proportions on the more-exaggerated items). I like.

  • msdamselfly

    LOVE THE way he references historical fashion. Is it Elizabethan?

    • helene

      that’s what i saw too.

      • Shawn EH

        And Victorian; bustles and lace and balloon sleeves.

  • the structural seaming on that astounding gold jacket leaves me weak kneed, plus I want that fabric with a blinding raging passion that is embarrassing to behold.

    • Nancer

      Me too! That fabric is amazing.

  • Danielle

    Those sleeves are practical for say, trying to work your way through a crowded room.

  • RussellH88

    Lady Gaga just found her wardrobe for this year.

  • MaggieMae

    Fabric porn. I need close-ups.

  • ckokopuff

    I can totally see Tilda Swinton rocking some of these.

  • mjude


  • Nancer

    Very editorial. The fabrics look amazing, and the construction is really something to behold. I can’t help but think, however, of all the time designers on Project Runway are told that their looks don’t flatter a woman’s figure. Who would want such an exaggerated booty, for example? And those shoulder/arms are cray-cray! Also, do you remember when Bert did the Avant Garde challenge (season 9, I looked it up) and the judges hated it? These shapes remind me of his entry. So. There’s that.

    • bertkeeter

      Ha…good memory! When I designed that look, inspired by geometric shapes in that young student’s painting, I never intended it to be anything other than an inspiration…NOT RTW! Those PR judges, god bless them, are a tad silly at times!

      • Nancer

        Bert? Is that you? So happy to “talk” to you! And yes, sometimes the judges just say the darnedest things. 🙂

        • bertkeeter

          Bertzilla here, loud and clear! 🙂

          • Nancer

            Awesome! So I have to say I am always perplexed by the randomness of some of the critiques. One day a silhouette unflattering, the next critique something similar is fashion forward and breathtaking! So puzzling. At any rate, can’t wait to see you on Under the Gunn!

  • Lower L

    Manicures by the Pale Man from Pan’s Labyrinth.

  • DinnerIsServed1972

    Sharon Needles, is that you?

  • RescueMe23

    I can see Madonna in a few of these. She would rock that “fun nun” look. These are stunning.

  • Shawn EH

    The styling scares me, but these clothes, they are surprisingly wearable. Beautiful skirts. Love the black and white one square in the middle; straight out of Jacqueline Susann.

  • conniemd

    I just can’t with the wide puffy sleeves and hips.

    • demidaemon

      Thank god someone agrees with me. I was afraid I would be the lone dissenter here.

  • suzq

    Very dada. However, lesser designers will continue to attempt the “franken-outfits.”

  • Imasewsure

    Hate all of the gold but kind of digging a lot of the silver especially the first striped look. Love the two long grey striped coats (I think they are coats?) too. Not a terribly wearable collection but fun for sure

  • kimmeister

    A few of the models are male, right? Or am I imagining things?

    I appreciate the theatricality of his shows, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a RTW collection from him, nor seen anyone credited as wearing him. How does he make money? This is not a criticism, but an actual question. There must be a niche market for his clothing that I’m totally unaware of. Unless Lady Gaga funds him all by herself.

    ETA: I just saw the next post with FLOTUS in his jacket. Answered my own question!

  • LeelaST

    Outrageous & OTT gorgeous (except for the fur of course.) Expect to see Gaga wearing at least one of these in the near future! Without benefit of motion, the clothes are wearing the models, not the other way around, in fact, they all look like they stepped behind one of those stand-up figures with holes for the head to show through.

  • lalahartma

    Dragalicious! Hee!

  • LaSylphide

    Amazing. I need numbers 12, 13 and 14. I can see Cate B in that gold (14) and Swinton in just about everything.

  • Wow. I am very excited about all this velvet. Flawless execution on the asymmetrical half-caped looks. Particularly the striped gray velvet.

  • LVC

    If you’re going to design for Nicki Minaj (the wigs are the giveaway) then you have to remember to also include cleave …

  • JauntyJohn

    I got “Vampire Nurse Salvation Army 2099” from this.
    (A secret order founded by a descendant of one of the Olsen twins, after The Fall.)

    Sometimes when a designer does “crazy” or “different” or (God help us) “Art!” I look at it and think, “No, man, you’re just winging it, right?”
    But this is a true PoV. Spectacular.

  • nycfan

    So this looks like stuff we’ll see in editorials mostly. And how did “fun nuns” translate into playing card queens?

    I dunno, feels very aging/aged somehow.

  • Jacob Bowen

    If these are the “fun” nuns, I would HATE to see the mean ones…

  • PeaceBang

    Well, now I know exactly how to dress when I get that job at Hogwart’s.

  • bertkeeter

    Hair and make …ode to “Death Becomes Her”? For Browne this is a fairly wearable collection. I would love to see a collection that was really meant to translate from runway to client…could be amazing. MAYBE …8-10 percent of this will see the inside of any retail environment. I do appreciate getting and idea of what Niiki Minaj will look ilk as an old lady in look #11.

  • Farthingale

    I could wear any of these on my next trip to the Capitol from District Twelve, or as I stand on the platform 9 and 3/4.

  • Eric Stott

    Will the Bustle make a return?

  • maggiemaybe

    I think these are absolutely wonderful. I’d like to join this order of nuns if they’re taking applicants.

  • VicD

    Everything about this collection makes me think Alice in Wonderland. That’s not a compliment.

  • demidaemon

    Okay, I see the drama and the wow factor here. But the silhouettes are stupid/mostly unflattering, the styling is horrible (WTF wigs AND make-up), and, until he shows a RTW version of these outfits, these are clearly all editorial clothes.

    • ankali

      Do you think you might enjoy his stuff more if you eliminated the expectation that it be RTW? I don’t know enough about your philosophy re: fashion shows, but: I adore Thom Browne. That is almost entirely because I appreciate his work as walking illustrations or breathing figments of fantasy. There are some wearable pieces throughout, but I think of those just as the cherry on the sundae. If I were trying to appreciate his clothes as though they primarily were supposed to be for real people to wear to real venues, I would hate him until I hated to death.

      • demidaemon

        My philosophy is twofold. 1) First off, it’s to grab the viewers’ attention. Thom Browne certainly never fails on that front. 2) It’s to “sell” the clothes (I’m using definitions of the term broadly) to fashion editors and buyers, as well as the general public. That’s where I feel he is less than successful.

        Also, to me, fashion is definitely subjective. What I like you may hate. In my opinion, I think he obliterates a women’s natural shape, and avant-garde (as many a PR challenge has shown) doesn’t always exactly translate. He has beautifully made clothing. I don’t particularly like it much.

        I still stand behind my point that he has no idea how to style these clothes for their best showing. In fact, it’s his styling that tends to turn me off even more from clothes that I may have been able to appreciate otherwise. Just my five cents.

  • Makes me think of the Hapsburg dynasty.

  • lrhoff

    How absolutely fantastic!! Such wonderful drama here.

  • Aisa Ginger Jake Psenicnik

    should have been modeled on real old ladies.

  • CatherineRhodes

    Pardon my ignorance, but are these real clothes? Or is this the Performance Art Runway Version that is then adapted into garments people might actually wear?

  • God, I want to attend a point of view.

  • e jerry powell

    The shapes recall the menswear collection from Paris, only with color.