It would be hard to overstate the hope/hype/hubbub around Thom Browne, the designer who's been recruited to pep up Brooks Brothers.
New York Magazine says Browne is "going to save the suit from extiction".
How? Well, he's gotten fashion journos very excited about his severe- looking suits with trousers that show a fair bit of ankle, or knee (or both), vests fitted for pre-adolescent boys, and odd hats with beekeeper-style netting. In other words, gorgeous on a model, not something you would probably wear to the office - although John Cameron Mitchell looked charmingly boyish in Browne on the December '06 cover of Out (see below, John is seated wearing pale blue shoes.)
Today the Washington Post proclaims Black Fleece, Browne's first line for Brooks Bros, a magnificent compromise:
"There were enough bold strokes to leave the typical Brooks Brothers shopper wide-eyed and stammering, but not so many that he would fall over in a horrified faint."
Want to find out more about Thom Browne, including his L.A. Salvation Army expeditions, and his early career as an actor? Listen to this interview Browne gave on the public radio show The Treatment.
Photos: Getty Images (top) and Out Magazine (bottom)