Thom Browne SS20: If Marie Antoinette Did Sports

Thom Browne SS20: If Marie Antoinette Did Sports

This fusion of "masculine" sportswear and 18th-century aristocratic garb could never be described as boring.

This fusion of "masculine" sportswear and 18th-century aristocratic garb could never be described as boring.

Text: Julian Wright

Ballet served as the introduction to the Thom Browne SS20 menswear collection. American Ballet Theatre dancer James Whiteside choreographed and performed the 15-minute, one-man piece at l'École des Beaux-Arts. Dressed in a Thom Browne seersucker tutu, Whiteside mystified audiences from one plié to the next. Elegant and extravagant: the eye-grabbing pre-show mirrored many qualities of the collection and its "Versailles country club" inspiration.

Sports and masculinity typically go hand-in-hand in one's mind. Browne challenged that male-assigned assumption by fusing athletic garb with aristocratic adornment. Sports jackets, overcoats and tapered trousers are staples of the sports world; this collection didn't neglect that. It just flipped them on their heads. Sports coats were pastel and paired with skirts; some even descended below the waist with panniers. Other jackets incorporated overly puffed sleeves and one laid atop a corset gartered to a skirt. Codpieces featured on most of the more "traditional" bottoms. The exposed tricolor crinoline didn't, but it certainly stood out on its own. Many models walked with sports balls (or handbags that looked like them) in hand. These looks were every bit as loud, luxurious and ostentatious as the monarchical garments they mimicked.

There was no missing the references Browne chose to utilize. Sports aren't foreign to the Thom Browne brand, but adding an 18th-century flair made them feel foreign to everyone. Thom Browne SS20 was made to challenge the familiar and in turn created something completely unique.

Click through the Slideshow below for some of the looks from Thom Browne SS20.

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Credits: Photos Courtesy of Vogue Runway

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