THOM BROWNE S/S 2017

THOM BROWNE SPRING-SUMMER 2017 022 Thom Browne’s shows never cease to blow my mind. Season after season, they just keep getting better, more theatrical, and even more innovative than ever. The gorgeous clothing is so consistently fabulous, so photogenic, that I feel privileged seeing its runway debut, and end up still thinking about it years later.

For Spring, the show took place in a colorful tiled set, which led VOGUE to liken it to a ‘Stepford Wives’ pool party’. A description I found quite accurate.  Upon entering the venue, photographers were given white Thom Browne lab coat-style jackets to wear, to further the immaculate illusion.

Backstage, the beauty look focused on big bombshell hair, “fake” tans, and multi-colored pastel lips and nails.

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Sil Bruinsma for MAC used MAC’s Pro Longwear Foundation in NC42 to create the orange, fake tan look on models faces. Models got pastel blue, or green lips, depending on skin tone. Liberal layers of mascara were applied to lashes to create a smudged look. With the makeup being finished off with a line of white acrylic paint looping around models’ necks to show a clear line between their fake tanned faces, and untanned bodies.

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Bumble and Bumble’s Jimmy Paul created a voluminous retro influenced hairdo to complement the collections old school pool party vibe. (After the hair was curled and set, large floral swim caps were placed on model’s heads until the show.)

TO GET THE LOOK: 1. Apply bumble and bumble Prep. Spray thickening hairspray and Surf spray throughout. 2. Pin into a curling iron set. 3. Once hair is set, let down and brush out curls. 4. Backcomb hair to add volume and lift at the roots. 5. Keep the look in place with Strong Finish. – Via Bumble and Bumble.

The finished look:

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One of Stephen Jones’ epic hats created for the show.

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Thom Browne’s fashion shows are very frequently more like theatre, with this years’ offering  consisting of a play in 3 acts. The arrival of the girls–all at once, the de-cloaking of their outerwear, and the swimsuit reveal at the end.

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The arrival of the models.

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The Queen and her court.

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The big reveal.

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The classic Thom Browne dog bags were updated for Spring.

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Act 3:
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See the full photo set here.

All Photos and Content ® 2016-2017 Rachel Scroggins/The Greyest Ghost

THOM BROWNE F/W 2016

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It should be pretty clear by now to anyone who reads this site occasionally, that Thom Browne is my favorite fashion designer currently showing in New York. More spectacle than traditional fashion show, his shows are my hands down favorite, can’t miss event of each season.

For Fall, the collection was inspired by “a walk in the park”– meaning Washington Square Park– circa one hundred years ago. Hair, usually styled more outlandishly season by season, was quite tame, allowing for the impeccable hats by Stephen Jones to shine instead. A vivid blue eyeshadow look brightened up the models’ pale faces.

According to Bumble and Bumble Lead Stylist Jimmy Paul, the hair style had a bit of a retro inspiration. “There’s a slight 1920s reference to the hair. Thom wanted the head as small as possible so we discussed ways to keep the hair close to the head. We’re essentially doing a wig wrap, the same way you’d prep the hair before putting on a wig. We’re going to make a headband with the hair and we’re using enough hairspray to make it look wet and actually stick.”

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To get the hair look: Jimmy used a traditional wig wrap technique to get the hair as tight to the head as possible. Wrapping the hair from one ear around the head, the hair was wet down with Thickening Hairspray to give the hair hold.

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To finish, Jimmy applied Bb.Gel for shine. –Instructions Via Bumble and Bumble.

Nails were painted in a pastel rainbow of colors. Lead manicurist Julie Kandalec, using ESSIE polish, created the look. The colors used (alternating on different models) were: Allure, Bikini so Teeny, Muchi Muchi, and Petal Pusher.

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The finished look:
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MAC Cosmetics’ genius makeup artist Sil Bruinsma (a frequent Thom Browne collaborator) remixed a classic 1920’s smokey eye, using bright vibrant blue eyeshadow.

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To get the look:

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Via MAC Cosmetics

The finished look:
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Once the beauty preparations were complete, I headed downstairs to see the clothes, and accessories.

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Dog bags!!!
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I also caught Stephen Jones in the midst of finalizing some hats for the show:
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Right before the show began:

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Thom Browne adjusting a look.

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One of my favorite models (and my friend!) Mick Szal opened the show as “The Woman in Red”.

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See the full photo set here.

All Photos and Content ®2016 Rachel Scroggins

Thom Brown Spring/Summer 2016

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It should be pretty apparent to readers of this site, by now, that Thom Browne is one of my favorite designers, and my hands down must see show during New York Fashion Week.

More sartorial spectacle and feast for the senses than traditional fashion show, Browne’s bi-annual women’s collection is presented in a unique, innovative way each season. As mentioned in the wonderful VOGUE.com review of the SS16 collection, it’s a tradition for the show’s theme to be tantamount to the theme of the clothing. There is no guess work for critics trying to decipher the current season’s inspiration.

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For SS16, this was Japan. Specifically Japanese School Girls.

Beauty wise, this translated into geisha inspired makeup, and traditional school girl braids– updated in a most untraditional way– with the braids hanging “upside down”!

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THOM BROWNE SPRING/SUMMER 2015

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I think it’s safe to say Thom Browne is my favorite show of every NYFW season. There really is nothing else like it, and I’m stunned over and over again that it even takes place in New York, and not in Paris during Couture week.

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One of the things I enjoy the most about this show is seeing so many different parts of what goes into putting on this show. From the hair and makeup, to the finishing touches being sewn onto the garments. Everything combines to create a completely unique fashion week experience.

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THOM BROWNE: FALL/WINTER 2014

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Thom Browne does not put on a simple fashion show. His shows are an experience. Something rarely found in New York, that one would see more commonly during Paris’ Couture week.

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My third time seeing one of his collections presented  is something I’ll never forget.
I arrived backstage relatively early, at the tail end of the hair and makeup test. It’s always fun to see a preview of what’s to come, hours before the show is scheduled to begin. As usual, the beauty looks for this season did not disappoint.

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THOM BROWNE S/S 2014

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Thom Browne’s shows fall into that rare category of “what on Earth could I possibly say to do this justice” style events. Maybe in the future when memories can be downloaded, and relived by others via virtual reality, could someone who didn’t see it firsthand understand what it’s like to experience one of his shows. Which are not really just shows– but a spectacle.

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I arrived early enough to catch the makeup test. Which left a lot of the waiting press…surprised after catching their first glimpse.

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At this point, most of us were left wondering “what is going to happen during this show?!” But more on that later. 😉

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I also caught many of the finishing touches being put onto the clothing in the collection. Which had so much impeccable detail (as always!) that I had to remind myself I wasn’t in Paris, backstage at a couture show.

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Back to the “unusual” makeup for the show:

To break it down in the most simple way, one could say there were two looks for the show. The “nurses” and the “patients”. That’s right, the show’s main point of inspiration was an insane asylum.

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A nurse gets her makeup painted on.

The distinguishing looks breakdown as follows:
Nurses: “normal” face makeup, red lips, “normal” hair, topped off with a white snood.
Patients: “crazy” smeared makeup, wild bird’s nest hair, topped with a red snood.

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A patient.

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The full makeup instructions, straight from the source– MAC’s Sil Bruinsma:
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The key was the imperfect smudging of all the patients’ looks, to truly capture that crazed feeling. Nurses= same makeup, not smudged.

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Hair, by Bumble and Bumble’s Jimmy Paul continued with the nurse and patient theme, showcasing “normal and crazy” once again.

Nurses hair was teased, but otherwise kept mostly natural in appearance, then coated with a dusting of Bumble and Bumble white hair powder. Thom Browne S-S 2014-40

For the patients’ hair, the following steps were used:
Hair was doused with Surf Spray, then dried, and teased BIG. To add volume to the looks of models with finer hair, donuts were placed on top of the head, then covered with more teased hair. The look was then finished off with white Hair Powder.

The finished look:
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After hair and makeup was completed, I got to investigate many pieces of the collection up close.

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Supposedly these cats were “strangled by the pearls” of their insane mistress.

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A sketch artist’s work backstage.

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Getting into character.

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Thom at work.

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Note the anchors on the collar– the show also had a slight nautical theme.

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The show itself was definitely a unique experience. Starting about 40 minutes late, after nearly an hour of the pre-show jack-in-the-box-esque creepy musical soundtrack, many of those in the audience felt as if they too were being slowly driven insane. But it was sooo worth it.

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It was long, and it was creepy, and weird. But unlike anything else I’d ever seen at NYFW. Or really anywhere, ever. I can only describe it as Sleep No More meets One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest meets Queen Elizabeth’s court. Happening in slow motion, under flickering light bulbs, complimented by another bizarre soundtrack of meowing cats and toy instruments.

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The models all perfected the “I am dosed out of my mind on psychiatric drugs, now where the hell am I?” look. Meanwhile the nurses were passing out candy “pills” to show-goers.

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Designer Thom Browne.

In the end: it was the most original, and slightly disturbing show I saw all week. And I loved it!

See the full photo set here.

All Photos and Content ®2013-2014 Rachel Scroggins/The Greyest Ghost

THOM BROWNE F/W 2013

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Over the past eight seasons, I’ve photographed many exciting, beautiful, and inspiring fashion shows– over 200 of them. Thom Browne’s Fall 2013 show is my favorite of them all. Every detail, from the backstage beauty to spooky, wintery runway show was perfect, making the viewer feel as if they were transported to a couture show in Paris, rather than a loft space in New York’s Chelsea.

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Mac Cosmetics’ Sil Bruinsma created a dazzling look inspired by Marie Antoinette, and The Queen of Hearts, focusing on whited out faces and bright red cheeks and lips.


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