Yesterday Lady M took a break from the rigors of campaigning and story telling to host the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards – the Museum’s annual event honoring lasting achievement in American design.
At a luncheon held in the East Room, the ceremony honored representatives in every category of design from architecture to technology, butt the fashion design is always the most anticipated announcement. This year the honor went to Thom Browne, an outstanding American designer who reinvented the men’s shrunken suit,
“Every day, these visionary designers are pushing boundaries, creating and revealing beauty where we least expect it,” Lady M told the audience.
Here’s somewhere I didn’t expect:
And here’s somewhere else where it’s unexpected: skirt pants (for men)
The surprises just keep coming: how about comic book art as fashion-wear? Who would’ve expected that?
Thom also does women’s fashion, although it’s not as boundary pushing; in fact it’s rather derivative.
Come to think of it, it might even be a little derisive.
After all the brew-ha-ha over the Ralph Lauren Olympic wear being manufactured in China, I wonder if Lady M was aware that Thom Browne moved his menswear, uh, “fashion” shows from New York to Paris two years ago? At least he chose an appropriate location: France’s Communist Party headquarters. Perfect for the debut of his “perfectly calculated, spare gray suiting.”
Clothing designer Thom Browne: like Lady M, he doesn’t believe in wearing socks either: Wait! Are those Sansabelts!?
As you may imagine, Thom is a huge fan of Lady M’s: “Browne said Obama ‘really understands that she is on a huge platform.’”
He even sounds a little like MO, when he talks about things he’s passionate about:
“She is so conscious about using where she is in a really good way, in a very helpful way, by the clothing she wears and supporting younger and newer designers …I think she is very generous in being very conscious in that way.”
I think she is too.
And Lady M concurs with Thom’s thought that “Fashion is more interesting when the references aren’t specifically fashion.”
Below, left to right clockwise, some of MO’s specifically non-fashion references include: yachting flags, Silicon Valley, toilet tissue, beach umbrellas, dominoes, spa robes, smurfs, salt water taffy and test patterns.
So, in case Ralph Lauren get’s booted as the designer of U.S. Olympic gear, I think Thom’s a shoo-in:
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