Thom Browne inspired by Moby Dick for Pre-fall 2023
Thom Browne’s inspiration for Pre-fall 2023 is Moby Dick, all the way from the felt berets cut in the shape of the great white whale, to massive intarsia coats featuring images of New England whaling ships.
Ishmael, the great novel’s narrator, travelled to Nantucket to join the crew of whaler Pequod, skippered by Captain Ahab, a man dedicated to revenge on the white whale for taking off one of his leg’s from the knee down.
Browne travels there in his fertile imagination, revamping his classic flannel suits into color block jackets in multiple shades of sea, Pacific, Aegean, midnight and navy blue. While his pale gray blazers, cashmere knits and scarves are all finished with pretty sailboats.
Thom even shrinks some beautifully cut cropped jackets, reminiscent of cabin boy Pip in the Great American Novel. While the latest Browne grained leather handbag is cut like a small steamer with an attached anchor.
The collection, unveiled Monday in a look book, marks Browne’s last before he takes up his second job, succeeding Tom Ford as the new chairman of the CFDA, starting on December 31.
A charming fashion statement – with the blend of formality and zaniness that characterizes Thom Browne – starring several humungous coats, including one in a black-and-white print of the climactic battle, where Moby Dick drowned Captain Ahab, bringing to an end Herman Melville’s epic novel.
In his look-book, all Thom’s female models are photographed with three curlers in their hair, in the designer’s signature color trio of red, white and blue. There were no women on the Pequod. One imagines if there were, they would have shed the curlers.
“All my means are sane, my motive and my object mad,” wrote Melville in Moby Dick, not a bad summation of Browne’s oeuvre.
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