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Beyond the Bale : Dec - Jan 08
In a year that included winning top honours at the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards gala, US designer Thom Browne collaborated with AWI to present his spring/summer 2008 collection during New York Fashion Week. Shown to buyers, media and fashion industry personnel from around the world, more than 70 per cent of the pieces featured in the collection were made from 100 per cent Australian Merino. "I have always been drawn to familiar wool-suiting fabrics made from Australian Merino wool," Thom says. "Both lightweight and breathable, Merino is ultimately the perfect fabric for any of my collections because it can transition into the summer and even the beginning months of fall." This partnership is the latest addition to AWI's designers program, which works to establish strong and mutually beneficial relationships with upcoming designers from around the world. "We're very excited to be working with Thom Browne this season," says Stuart McCullough, director of North American operations for AWI. "Our goal is to showcase Australian Merino at its most innovative and inspiring, and Thom's spring/summer 2008 collection does just that." Showcased at Exit Art, an exhibition and alternative art space for contemporary culture, the décor transformed the space from cold warehouse to beach paradise. Floors were strewn with sand, palm trees lined the seats, lifeguard stands stood at attention, models paraded down a boardwalk runway and the sound of crashing waves completed the venue's transformation. The theme of American surf culture was apparent throughout Thom's entire collection. Different proportions and silhouettes, such as his interpretation of the sack suit, short shorts and surfing-gear-inspired items were introduced. Jackets and trousers made with matching floral appliqués were one of the unique key looks in the collection. Thom describes his fashion aesthetic as being drawn from the American sensibility of the late 1950s and early 1960s, and while he has become known for his unique short and fitted silhouette, his collections are derived from traditional aspects of handmade tailoring. Given his distinctly tailored approach, Thom says the reason he prefers using Merino to other fabrics is that it lends itself to solid construction while being wearable every day. Thom Browne outlets opened their doors in 2001, offering custom-made clothes. In spring/summer 2004, Thom took his first step into ready-to-wear. All of the items from his ready-to-wear collection continue to be handmade, but are simply pre-made for the customer who values quality, fine detailing and a fresh vision. In 2006, Thom was invited to design a capsule collection for men and women for Brooks Brothers as part of their newly introduced creative concept laboratory, which had just recently been launched. Thom Browne's New York showcase 21 FASHION BEYOND THE BALE The cutting-edge combination of an early-1960s American aesthetic and Australian Merino is proving a highly successful recipe for the US designer "Thom is a key player in the apparel industry right now," Mr McCullough says. "We're thrilled to have him in our corner as an advocate for Merino and look for ward to a continued partnership with him." Thom Browne's collection is available through 20 boutiques globally, including Harvey Nichols in London, Barneys in New York and Joyce in Hong Kong. ú More information: www.merinoinnovation.com; www.thombrowne.com Some of award- winning US designer Thom Browne's designs in Australian Merino wool.
Oct 07 - Nov 07
Feb - Mar 08 Supplement