Moncler Gamme Bleu – that’s Thom Browne’s collaboration with ski-luxe outerwear giant Moncler – presented its FW16 collection to a sizable audience of well-heeled movers and shakers in Milan.
A troupe of ski-masked models paraded down a lengthy runway, before sitting down, one by one, inside a giant glass cube placed in the middle of a vast hangar-sized space in Moncler’s Milan HQ. Browne, a real icon of modern menswear, didn’t exactly play things safe – every single one of the collection’s 40 looks was draped head-to-toe in a hard-to-stomach pattern that injected urban camouflage with his signature red, white and blue.
If you looked hard enough at the multi-colored onslaught, you could catch glimpses of the designer’s hallmarks, though. Prince of Wales check was nestled under the camo, leather derbies – a Browne staple – were present, and a few sparkly pieces looked like they were crafted at painstakingly high standards, much like the elaborate embroideries from his theatrical Paris show.
You do have to wonder what the point of it all was, though. Besides the most fanatical of Browne’s disciples, who was this collection designed for? Not the moneyed but sartorially-conservative clientele that makes up the vast bulk of Moncler’s business, that’s for sure. But I suppose when a company has made over three quarters of a billion dollars in 2015 alone, you can afford the odd bit of creative indulgence.