Thom Browne brings high fashion to school uniforms The Thom Browne Spring 2016 collection is modeled during Fashion Week Monday Sept. 14, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Bryan R. Smith)
Thom Browne brings high fashion to school uniforms
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When most people look at a school uniform, they see something, well, uniform.
 
As in, boring. Isn't that the point?
 
Not in Thom Browne's hands, it isn't. At his runway show Sept. 13, the designer took the simple image of a Japanese schoolgirl's uniform and transformed it. He created a strange but enticing world.
 
Browne is known for both his craftsmanship and his showmanship. Thus, no one was surprised when they entered a gallery in New York to see that the designer had constructed a one-room schoolhouse (recent collections have been set in a 19th-century English hospital, and a cathedral).  There were rows of chairs. And a black composition notebook neatly placed at each one.
 
Then came the "students." Each model wore a pleated skirt and blazer. But the workmanship on those "uniforms" was intricate. Different patterns were embroidered on both skirt and jacket, and each outfit was wholly unique. There were pinstripes, floral patterns, gingham and seersucker. Color schemes started with shades of gray but moved on to black-and-white, and pastels like mint green and lavender.
 
Then there was the hair, which doubtless would get a reprimand (or at least a hard look) from a strict headmistress. Two starched braids were sticking straight up from the head into the air, and framed by fabulous (and topless) boater hats by master milliner Stephen Jones.
 
The students marched slowly, deliberately, around the schoolhouse. Then they entered it, one by one, and took seats. Finally, a "teacher" arrived, and she looked like a bride, or a Kabuki actor, fully veiled and dressed in a long, tiered white linen skirt and an overcoat in white fur. She took her place at the head of the classroom, rapped on the table, and then Browne came out to take his bow.
 
But the "students" stayed in place in their classroom, and observers rushed forward to photograph them up close as they stood, motionless.
 
Sticking out from under the schoolhouse, unnoticed at first, were a pair of men's feet, a la "Wizard of Oz." Who knows where that man figured into the story.
 
Backstage, Browne explained that the whole show was based on one thing. It was that generic school uniform. "That was the reason for all the pleated skirts," he said. "But also, I almost wanted to play with people not knowing what was right side up and what was upside down."
 
It was a concise explanation. But when your clothes are that intricately crafted, they speak for themselves.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What makes these designs impractical for school?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (102)
  • autianae-ste
    9/22/2015 - 06:02 p.m.

    It's nice to know that someone can add style to a boring school uniform. Almost all students that wear uniforms probably don't like it, without actually trying to making a new style out of it.

  • GigiSylvester-Ste
    9/22/2015 - 06:34 p.m.

    I think unforms are a great idea. With determining whose shorts are too short and all the arguing, it's just way easier. I wish we could switch.

    • meliam-bar
      10/13/2015 - 12:24 p.m.

      I think its so cool that someone want to make a change in the school uniforms :-]

  • Jason0421-YYCA
    9/22/2015 - 09:18 p.m.

    I think that it is interesting for Thom Browne to have made a more "interesting" uniform then just a normal looking uniform. I think that Thom Browne is great at creating amazing work, but I think that the uniform they are wearing is a bit too wacky. I think that it is way to crazy for a uniform to be worn in school.

  • annabel1226-yyca
    9/22/2015 - 09:46 p.m.

    I think that school uniform is creative, but kind of weird and not that cool or pretty. I like my school uniform. We wear neck ties, skirt for girls, pants for boys, we have to wear blue shirts, and sometimes blazers.I think our school uniform is cute and it is the best uniform.

  • TaylorSeifert-Ste
    9/22/2015 - 09:55 p.m.

    Seeing this high fashion shop would have been very interesting. The hair, straight up braids, was an awesome touch. Clothing definitely says a lot about someone's personality, but I wish that people would look past other's outer appearance, their clothing, height, weight, and just overall look, before they judge because that's not really what matters. Everyone is beautiful, but some people choose to aligning their opinion of beauty up with society's unrealistic, unnatural one, creating an imagine that is no longer beauty, just makeup and photoshop.

  • ismaelm2-cam
    9/23/2015 - 12:28 p.m.

    I think that uniforms should not be boring. Students like to express themselves through clothes and I think that shouldn't be taken away.

  • elinap-cam
    9/23/2015 - 12:30 p.m.

    This is a great way to get kids interested in wearing school uniforms. I am sure that a lot more kids will want to wear them especially if they aren't boring. I still think that I wouldn't want to wear uniforms because I express myself in my clothing.

  • autianae-ste
    9/23/2015 - 01:11 p.m.

    Besides being forced to wear it, uniforms aren't that bad. Obviously, someone knows how to add their own style to a "boring" school uniform.

  • amelieb-gra
    9/23/2015 - 06:01 p.m.

    those outfits are really cool.

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