Like almost everything else in 2020, Paris Fashion Week looks completely different this year. Since the event started on September 28th, there have been several live performances with masked audiences, however many designers, including Thom Browne, have chosen to switch to digital.
To showcase her spring 2021 collection (which includes both men’s and women’s wear), Browne is making a short film that takes audiences far, far from Paris 2020. A collection of sporty white blazers, pleated plays, thick knits and beekeeper’s esque hats “is true. “was actually based on the Olympics of the early 1920s,” said Browne. ADVERTISEMENT. It is fitting, then, that the grand staircase at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (which opened in 1923 and hosted the Olympics in 1932 and 1984) served as a runway, and for Olympic athletes (who would have competed in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo). had it not been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic) as a model.
Designed by father-and-son architects John and Donald Parkinson, the Coliseum is a National Historic Landmark, and although renovated in 2019, retains classic elements such as the large peristyle with arches.
To make things even more interesting – and perhaps to speak of a timeless structure – Browne’s film is set 200 years from now, with the Coliseum playing a replica of him on the moon. The spectacle is narrated by Instagram actor and comedian Jordan Firstman, who is best known for his viral impressions of inanimate objects.
Below, Browne informs ADVERTISEMENT a little bit more about setting up an out of this world fashion show amidst the pandemic.
Architectural Digest: Are some of the challenges in combining the show with the pandemic?
Thom Browne: Only logistically can do it. We have very official COVID-19 restrictions as well as doctors and nurses on set for all shooting. Actually during our stay in LA, through casting and all that too. That is perhaps the most challenging. The rest are normal, high-level production types.
ADVERTISEMENT: When did you realize that you wouldn’t be able to have a regular fashion show this year?
TB: In early March I realized that it would be a while before I did anything directly. So during June and July for men and also in September for women, we consciously as a company decided to move forward and think about how we would do things in a responsible way. So that means figuring out how to digitally create something.
ADVERTISEMENT: How is it different from a live performance?
TB: I feel like my show is a story. Of course, they usually come in person. I think it’s a great time to take advantage of making short art films. The collection is completely based on the Olympics of the early 1920s, the clothing sensibilities remain true to that and also refer to the Olympic spirit. One of the most iconic Olympic venues is the LA coliseum. It’s something that can be done, for one thing. And also architecturally it has power and is a stunning location.
ADVERTISEMENT: How do you feel that the clothes and the space architecture complement and complement each other?
TB: The architecture is very hopeful with how grand it is. That’s something I’d really love to see in this collection. I think that’s perhaps the most important message between architecture and dress. Hope you see film.## Title