Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Designer of the Year - Honey I shrunk the suit

Unsurprisingly GQ have name Thom Browne 'Designer of the Year' in their December issue and there cannot be too many complaints out there...are there? I'm hard pushed to come up with a single other menswear designer who has created such a stir after his shows, not to mention the fact that his indicative style has been replicated throughout the world. Never before have I seen men sporting cuffed trousers complimented by no socks on the scale I have seen on the streets of London this year and this is down to the influence of one man.

Men's style is such an interesting and constantly evolving entity. Who would've thought just a few years ago that someone who advocated high trousers and the shrunken suit would become the toast of the sartorial town? Browne started selling the suits we have grown to love in 2001 and his collections have always been focused around the suit, building on its links to menswear from the past and how the oddity of its proportions threw its reference points into postmodern relief. Since 2001 Browne has of course received many plaudits but he has also received a great deal of negative reviews - there is a constant criticism that the designer is making clothes that look weird on anyone who isn't Thom Browne...I have however seen many Thom Browne's walking the streets this year. His designs have slowly eroded many of our beliefs on what a good suit should be, he has made us question many things about something so simple (or so we thought) as the practical, 'safe' option, the suit. He has done this to such an extent that the same people who initially laughed at the proportions of his creations are now desperate for his next line, whilst feeling self conscious if their ankles are covered. In my opinion he deserves the designer of the year accolade for this alone. Are you happy with GQ's choice?


modernaged said...

While certainly an interesting fellow, Thom Browne bugs me. I can't help but get hung up on practicality sometimes and his work just really isn't. The men I've seen in real life trying to rock Thom Browne always look a bit silly and self conscious/self impressed. And i like to show off my ankles, personally. With Thom It's always been all good in the hood for me from the waist up, as i like the snug chest and arms, but i lose it on the way down.

This is, of course, based off of nothing but my own narrow worldview. I certainly can't knock the man for his skill and flair.

The T(h)om for me is Tom Ford. Safe? Maybe. Awesome? Definitely.

Ian Brown said...

I'm not so sure based on this year alone Browne's line is the most vibrant example of menswear. Certainly I would point to him as a leader over the recent years. That's the problem with award ceremonies and people like me. I'm far too deliberative and cynical to create grand lists of bests and worsts.

As per the naked ankle, mine are too thin to be paraded about completely in proportion with my height and broad shoulders I look like a famished Bluto, a dreidel made of flesh. Just a hint of heel of it will do though and I just can't stand a great deal of break in my trousers.

j said...

What I like about Thom Browne is he helped show that once again in fashion nothing is sacred including cuff length.

TheSundayBest said...

The right but most boring choice. Also - how can the designer of the year be owned by so few men. I actually don't know anyone who has a Thom Browne anything.

Giancinephile said...

As much as Thom Browne may have stirred the public's opinion on menswear, I do believe that there are more menswear designers pushing it more than he does. I mean his provocation isn't as effective as it was seasons ago. Too many new names have emerged.

...But it's GQ, so Thom Browne kind of comes in naturally. It's not like GQ is likely to grant such honour to someone like Carlo Brandelli or Damir Doma or perhaps Ute Ploier.

Elizabeth said...

I'm sure I'm the odd man out (!) here, but I love the shrunken suit, regardless of whether I'm supposed to or not.

Timmy said...

gq tends to play it safe. its a solid choice for a man whos done great things for mens suit (suits = gq)

Style Salvage Steve said...

modernaged - I understand your point of view and I think it is a view shared by many. I just can't get excited by Tom Ford, he offers me a sort of luxury that I admire but would never dream of wearing myself.
ian brown - I don;t think Mr Browne has done anything new or different this year, he has just been chipping at the collective consciousness of us all and has been rewarded for his perseverance. I say parad your thin ankles, they are certainly better than cankles!
j - So true. I wish more menswear designers challenged such accepted style viewpoints.
thesundaybest - It is true that few men actualy own Thom Browne pieces but we have all have pieces inspired by him. I was extremely tempted by a tweed suit jacket which I saw in the sale at the shop at bluebird...I wish I went for it!
giancinephile - I think it must have been diffficult for GQ to choose even someone like Thom Browne...it is such a consistently dull publication.
enc - You certainly aren't the odd man out. I'm with you!
Timmy Sy Ang - Here here, I could've said it better.

Anonymous said...

John Robert Holbrook is my favorite Fashion Designer! I am so impressed by all of the artistic things that he is doing simultaneously. I received a bottle of his cologne John Robert Holbrook - Pharaoh in my gift bag at the Oscars and I have loved it ever since! I found his website www.johnrobertholbrook.com but do you have any other information on this man? He needs to be recognized!

Brad/ Los Angeles

Anonymous said...

John Robert Holbrook - Pharaoh is the best men's fragrance on the market today! I receive compliments every day! I heard that Robert Redford, Bill Clinton and Princess Diana's boys wear it also...WOW!

Chase Covington


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