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
Lexile

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 into a strange but enticing world - as pretty much only he can do.
 
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, with different patterns 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, 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 and then 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: 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."
 
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 (12)
  • reillye-rei
    9/22/2015 - 03:27 p.m.

    I like this because school uniforms can be boring and you cant tell what kind of person your looking at until you actually have a deep conversation. Some people try to find loopholes and fail, but Thom didn't. I would buy his uniforms.

  • amelyaj-lam
    9/23/2015 - 10:41 a.m.

    I think school uniforms would be better if you could embroider the uniform but i still wouldn't want to where the same outfit as everyone else, every day.

  • audreyx-lam
    9/23/2015 - 10:47 a.m.

    I think that this is a creative way to create school uniforms. These designs are really fun, but also a bit over the top for school. Thom Browne made pretty clothing, but I think they shouldn't be worn to school, maybe just worn for fun.

  • caitlynk-2-bar
    9/23/2015 - 11:58 p.m.

    What I think makes these designs impractical for school is that school uniforms are meant to be plain and/or boring so the students don't get distracted by how they look. This is impractical because with this as a school uniform or as the article puts it, "...workmanship on those "uniforms" was intricate, with different patterns embroidered on both skirt and jacket, and each outfit was wholly unique." This defeats the purpose of a school uniform. I found this article very interesting because it put a whole new and unique twist on school uniforms. This article did not surprise me because there are so many designs that designers make there was bound to be a time when fashion designers used school uniforms as their design and put their own twist on it.

  • billiem-1-bar
    9/24/2015 - 10:08 p.m.

    These designs would be impractical for school, because they would be very distracting. Uniforms are meant to make everyone the same, these fashion uniforms do not do that. Kids would be more focused on school if there were in normal uniforms.

    I found article interesting because the designer is trying to make high school uniforms fashionable, and they are not. That is not the point of uniforms used in school.

  • isabellaw-1-bar
    9/24/2015 - 10:35 p.m.

    These designs are impractical for school because the whole point of school uniforms is for them to be the same, and the designs are all different. I found this article interesting because it was about fashion. I found it suprising because I did not think someone would every think about making there clothes based on school uniforms.

  • grantm-2-bar
    9/24/2015 - 11:26 p.m.

    The first thing that makes these designs impractical for school is that the girls hair is to high up, Having their hair up like that would be misleading. When they are sitting down at school it could get in the way of others behind them. Two, that would be hard to put your hair up like that everyday. Three, they would be a lot of money because the teachers especially is so uniquely made.

  • hayleem-ric
    10/01/2015 - 10:24 a.m.

    I think it is creative but the designs are inappropriate for school especially the topless women. They're good for the fashion show designs but not for school, and school is not for dresses unless on picture day and finally the point of a uniform is to look the same to represent something or just in case someone gets lost and you can tell by the uniform that it is your school.

  • sydneyv-jon
    10/01/2015 - 01:02 p.m.

    I'm glad that I don't have to wear a school uniform where I go. I would not want to have to wear the same thing as everyone else, how would you express yourself? But by adding your own touch to them would make them more you and unique. I don't really like the look of the uniforms that Thom Browne made but must famous fashion designers make strange clothes that I would personally never wear.

  • sofiat-4-bar
    10/06/2015 - 06:46 p.m.

    These designs are impractcle for school because it most schools the whole point of uniforms is to prevent bullying and if each uniform is different it gives kids something to bully someone for. I think if uniforms are all different then there is no point in having them in the first place. And I don't even want to get started on the hair.

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