Thom Browne – with his visionary take on eccentric, socially challenging collections for men and women – has been a pride and joy of the New York City design scene for quite some time. But for the average, less-directional American, he is somewhat unknown. So for Michelle Obama to don his coat and dress for yesterday’s Inauguration proceeding was something of a landmark occasion – for the designer, for the First Lady (@FLOTUS), and for advancing political style. Morning talk shows can’t get over it, in fact, nor can mainstream fashion blogs. Instead of worrying that Browne isn’t more of an avant institution in the American fashion vernacular, we’re simply going to celebrate the fact that he is that much closer to becoming one now – all thanks to that miraculous checkered Edwardian-saluting coat.
Browne spoke to New York’s Kurt Soller about the honor. First of all, underneath that now historical coat, there is a dress. ‘It is sleeveless, and also a silk-tie jacquard. It’s not navy [like the coat]; actually, it’s a jacquard grey, loden green, pink, blue, and white, with triangles’. explained Browne. He also claims he didn’t mind that Obama chose to accessorize with a J. Crew belt over the one he furnished with the coat, remarking: ‘She has such a strong sense of what she likes and that’s a true testament to her personal style. The belt I designed was very similar to the belt she wore, but it was made in the same fabric as the coat’.
And sadly/thankfully, he has no plans to reproduce the garment(s) for the masses.