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Thom Browne Closes NYFW With Tribute To Edgar Allan Poe: A Hauntingly Beautiful Fusion of Fashion and Literature

Thom Browne's New York Fashion Week finale merged American fashion with literary mystique, as models elegantly traversed an artificial snow-covered floor amidst the haunting verses of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," showcasing Browne's mastery as a storyteller in the fashion industry.

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Thom Browne's Tribute To Edgar Allan Poe at NYFW 2024 Photo: Getty Images
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Thom Browne, known for his flair in American fashion, concluded New York Fashion Week amidst wintry ambiance, featuring a floor covered in artificial snow and unveiling his latest creative designs accompanied by the eerie verses of Edgar Allan Poe's chilling "The Raven." Guided by Carrie Coon, star of “The Gilded Age,” who served as the soundtrack narrator, Browne immersed the audience in Poe's somber tale of a lover grieving his lost love, Lenore, haunted by the relentless refrain of the ominous bird: "Nevermore! Nevermore!"

The presentation transcended a typical runway show, unfolding as a narrative experience. Browne, now serving as the chairman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, remains unparalleled in the fashion industry as a master storyteller. Throughout the years, he has staged his shows in simulated cathedrals, enchanting gardens, and even distant galaxies.

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True to form, Browne's models didn't simply parade down a runway; they embodied characters in his imaginative narrative, gracefully traversing a wintry expanse adorned with snow and skeletal trees.

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Thom Browne Show at the New York Fashion Week 2024 Photo: Getty Images
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Rather than swiftly passing by the seated audience, the models moved deliberately, some returning to the central trees of the set, engaging in an orchestrated, poetic way.

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Thom Browne's Tribute To Edgar Allan Poe Photo: Getty Images
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Such runway shows, with an emphasis on storytelling, are a welcome departure from the conventional parade of models. They inject depth into the fashion world, and Browne consistently excels in delivering this immersive experience.

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Seulgi, Havana Rose Liu, Morgan Spector, Rebecca Hall, Rachel Brosnahan and Jason Ralph at the Thom Browne show NYFW Photo: Getty Images
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R&B icons Janet Jackson and Queen Latifah at NYFW Photo: Getty Images
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The front row was ablaze with star power. South Korean Singer Seulgi, Havana Rose Liu, Rachel Brosnahan, Anna Wintour, and R&B icons Janet Jackson and Queen Latifah were among the notable attendees.

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Thom Browne Show NYFW Photo: Getty Images
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As attendees entered the venue, a towering man on stilts, clad in an oversized puffer coat or gown stood motionless, resembling the trees around. When the spectacle unfolded, four young children emerged from within the coat, reminiscent of a sinister iteration of Mother Ginger from "The Nutcracker," eventually settling in the snow as the recitation of the poem began.

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Thom Browne Show NYFW Photo: Getty Images
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Poe's verse echoed through the venue, "While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, as of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door," as the procession commenced. Among nearly 50 ensembles, Browne adhered to his characteristic color discipline, presenting everything in black-and-white, punctuated by a hint of gold towards the end.

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Thom Browne's Tribute To Edgar Allan Poe at the NYFW Photo: Getty Images
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While fashion often revisits past trends in a cyclical manner, couture rarely delves into the 19th century for inspiration. The runway was predominantly adorned with square necklines, cinched waists, and subtle nods to Empire-style garments.

The influence of Poe permeated every aspect of the presentation. In the first ensemble, a striking black headpiece created the illusion of a raven resting atop the model's head. Following that, black birds adorned a white coat, concealing a black jacket and skirt beneath.

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Alex Consani Walking at the Thom Browne Show NYFW Photo: Getty Images
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Alex Consani made a striking statement in a dazzling gold ensemble, complemented by matching gold lipstick, commanding attention as she graced the runway. Her outfit featured a silhouette of black ravens with outstretched wings, creating a captivating visual.

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Models Walking the Thom Browne Collection at the NYFW Photo: Getty Images
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The collection featured a remarkably innovative assortment of coats, jackets, skirts, and trousers, with occasional ensembles omitting trousers altogether. It showcased a variety of solids, checks, and prints, blending fully structured pieces with others that exuded a deconstructed aesthetic, a signature theme in Browne's designs. Each ensemble exemplified meticulous layering and intricate tailoring.

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Design paying homage to Browne's beloved pet Photo: Getty Images
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Various silhouettes ranged from long and sleek to boxy or tightly cinched at the waist. The accessory lineup featured several iterations of the Hector bag, a canine-inspired design paying homage to Browne's beloved pet. According to the label, the bags were protected by a removable layer of waterproof vinyl, mirroring the material used for the footwear.

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Unconventional Hairstyling at the Thom Browne Show Photo: Getty Images
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There was a rare glimpse of skin for the label, featuring a sheer black blouse adorned with roses and a sheer skirt. As for hairstyling, it was decidedly unconventional, with many models sporting gravity-defying braids reaching skyward.

Back in July, Thom Browne made waves with his couture debut at Paris Fashion Week, presenting a vision that was both dark and all-encompassing, akin to the atmospheric setting of a winter novella. It seemed to lament the declining appreciation for literary arts in an era where reading books, let alone poems, has become rare.

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Nevermore Jacket at the Thom Browne Show NYFW Photo: Getty Images
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Adding a touch of whimsy, the word "Nevermore" from the poem adorned the backs of select jackets. Looking at those jackets, one might ponder the significance of reviving a piece of literature from 1845 today.

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It serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring wisdom that lies within timeless works of art, suggesting that valuable insights await those who are willing to disconnect from their phones and engage with the pages of a book.

We exist in a universe imbued with the essence of "Nevermore," where fashion serves as a mirror to our inherent darkness, even when adorned with Valentine's Day red roses and boxes of Louis Sherry chocolates distributed to departing guests after the show.

This runway presentation transcended mere fashion; it was a form of elevated, intellectual art. Yet, amidst its bookish allure, it conveyed a message of hope. It seemed to embrace chaos, embracing a boundless creativity and the potential for discovering illumination within darkness. The anticipation for Browne's next creation is palpable, with hopes for yet another runway show infused with poetic inspiration.

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