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Thom Browne's clothing may be some of the most divisive in menswear. The shrunken, cropped suit jackets, the trousers that are closer to the wearer's calves than ankles, the perhaps ostentatious four stripe branding and aggressive pricing are all points that could provide a case for both sides of the Thom Browne argument. Even if you hate his aesthetic, you can't deny it's influence on the last decade or so of menswear. Personally, I think he's the fucking man. Not just because of his designs—which have stayed relatively similar throughout the brand's history—but for his willingness to stick to his guns. TB's business is enormous, but you'll never hear him grouped in with some of the other enormous personalities in fashion. His colors shine through in this interview he did with Hunger TV where he touches on his recent collections, the connections between his womenswear and menswear, his theatrical fashion week shows and how he likes the people who don't think too much about fashion wearing his work. His newest project is a "storybook," which is more or less an illustrated lookbook, all the profits of which are going to charity. If you happen to be one of our readers in London, you can get that at Joseph on 77 Fulham Road. Here are some of the best quotes:
On the similarities of his menswear and womenswear:
They’re very similar in regards to the emphasis on tailoring and they’re very similar in regards to the fabrications that I develop for each collection. There’s a lot of crossover. They both are very single-minded, very true to themselves, confident and they’re comfortable being on their own. The only challenges and differences are technical. Men’s for me I could do with my eyes closed whilst women’s is a really good challenge just working with the women’s body. It’s never going to be something that’s overtly sexy. I think there’s something so much more beautiful about covering more and playing with shapes. Almost what you don’t see is much more interesting.
On staying true to his work and distancing himself from trends:
I just stay true to what I want to do. I don’t really always pay attention, as long as it doesn’t become irrelevant because I think tailored clothing is sometimes more unique. I really stay true to what I like. I appreciate that other people do what they do. If I was to start doing something that wasn’t true to me, it wouldn’t be that good.
On Michelle Obama wearing TB and the people he wants to wear his clothing:
I can never really directly answer that. It’s really just anybody that can appreciate clothing that is really well made. I love women that are very independent, strong and intelligent. Sometimes fashion isn’t the first thing they think about, that’s the people I like wearing my stuff.
On building inspiration for his collections:
I never like to work with literal references and I don’t like to have them around because for me I like to be free to almost forget enough so that it becomes something more of my own. Then also with the people I work with, I like them to think and sometimes it’s so easy to look at a literal reference and then just go from there as opposed to sitting back and closing your eyes and thinking how should we proceed with this.