Thom Browne Makes His Own American Gothic Fairy Tale


There are a few things one can always expect from a Thom Browne show: meticulously detailed clothing that verges on couture (even for ready-to-wear collections), a quiet color palette of black and gray, and above all else, a strong element of fantastically out-there theatrical production. These are the kinds of shows that captivate and, for good reason, feel like they’re in an entirely different category than most other runway shows. For fall 2024, the label delivered on all that and more.

The collection opened with actress Carrie Coon narrating Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” while children dressed in head-to-toe Thom Browne emerged from beneath a massive, shadowy figure in a quilted black coat with tree-branch arms. “All the music was composed for this show, and I did that because her voice was so melodic that it didn’t really need music. It just needed background sound,” Browne said moments after the show, backstage. Coon’s voice was certainly powerful—and the show ended with her shrill screams, shouting “nevermore!” This all may sound like something from a whimsical film, but for Browne, it was just another show. “Poe was an iconic American author, I’m an American designer,” he added. “The Raven fit my mood, and the story, I think, is so romantically beautiful.”

Photo by Giovanni Giannoni/WWD via Getty Images
Photo by Giovanni Giannoni/WWD via Getty Images
Photo by Giovanni Giannoni/WWD via Getty Images
Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images
Photo by Taylor Hill/WireImage
Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Browne last held a show during couture week in Paris, and for fall 2024, he wanted to focus on some of those same techniques he used in the City of Light. “The whole thing is about all the fabric that was developed—the tweeds, the cashmeres, the silk moiré,” he said, “the intarsias, the satin embroideries, and really just the shapes.” Those shapes included ultra-strong shoulders and 1910s silhouettes for dresses and skirts, some of which took influence from the French illustrator Georges Goursat, known as Sem.

Highlights of the collection included spades of Browne’s signature eccentric outerwear, but remixed. There was a boxy white coat covered in angular black raven print, oversize tweed blazers with upper halves that looked like they had been dipped in tar and covered in the label’s signature striped bows, and striking options that toyed with the concept of wearability; either folded, off-the-shoulder lapels or cocoons of fabric tied with a bow near funnel necks.

A dark, punkish element was the throughline for the collection, emphasized by netted veils, long black nails, and painterly makeup by Isamaya Ffrench that recalled the New Romantics era. Some of the larger cocoon-like styles felt new, but the heart and soul of the collection was purely embedded in Browne’s DNA: recontextualizing the lexicon of American fashion (Shirting! Ties! Blazers!) and making them into something unfamiliar, slightly nostalgic, and otherworldly.

Model Alex Consani closed the show in a glorious gilded jacquard cape with a ballooned hem. As she walked to the end of the faux snow-covered runway, the group of Thom Browne-clad children removed her cape to reveal a hand-knit gold bouillon cardigan and matching silk duchess bubble skirt outfitted with the raven. “It was almost a reference to another story I want to tell in the future: ‘The Gold Bug’ by Edgar Allan Poe,” the designer said.

“I didn’t want it to be happy,” Browne added of his collection. “I wanted it to be beautifully romantic.” What better way to end the fall 2024 New York Fashion Week season on Valentine’s Day than that?

Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images
Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Photo by Giovanni Giannoni/WWD via Getty Images
Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Photo by Giovanni Giannoni/WWD via Getty Images

Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Photo by Giovanni Giannoni/WWD via Getty Images



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