Milliner Stephen Jones had once created one in the 80s by twisting a t-shirt on the head of singer Kate Garner (right) and he channeled that memory for the Spring 2015 collection by Thom Browne, creating more than 30 hats for the runway.
They helped set a deliciously zany tone for the playful, Tea Party in Wonderland feel of the clothing - a marvelously mad mix of florals, butterfly-like profusions of feathers, dreamy pastels, nightmarish brights, kid-friendly mixes of flowers, oversize prints (like a child playing dressup in a parent's closet) and circus-like blocks of color.
And instead of walking the runway, the models enacted various summery activities - sailing, lawn-mowing, collecting butterflies, sunbathing - but frozen in place, a tableaux of strange mannerisms and customs out of time...just like the Mad Hatter's tea party. The voice of actress Diane Keaton even figured in, the soundtrack intoning a strange tale of six obsessive sisters which the models then walked to illustrate.
Wearing ensembles which included a dress trimmed in mink and woven from, of all things, fishing line; an oxford-cloth jacket comprised of 180 separate pieces; a cocktail dress encased in interlocking Mylar leather. "It was the stuff of a sci-fi fashion fairy tale," observed Style.com's Tim Blanks, noting that it mesmerized the audience with "a peculiar magic."
This interesting mix of childlike fantasy and fabrics handcrafted in a manner best described as hardcore - or, as Tim Blanks put it, "gorgeous, multidimensional assaults" - is a signature of the Folkspun fashion tribe, the tribe dedicated to keeping alive memories and traditions, from the literal (handicrafts) to the figurative (fairytales). For more of my posts and podcasts about this tribe, CLICK HERE. To learn more about each of fashion's four mega-tribes that I track, START HERE.
Podcast music: Kevin MacLeod, Incompetech.com
- Lesley Scott