Thom Browne's winter in the workplace

Set in a beguilingly simple stage, Thom Browne's Fall 2009 show may not have the same theatrics as his past presentations, but he continues to push conventions to the point that some of his pieces cannot be called anything but surreal.

Can anyone imagine all of these outifts behind actual office venetian blinds?

But even if Thom Browne produces suit overalls that remind one of long johns, classic pieces like these coats are very much part of his staples.

The understatement used to present these pieces have perhaps been intended to focus the attention on the fabrics, on the invention employed, like the treatment of cashmere to appear like waterproofs.

The A-line reappers in this collection but only so subtly. Some coats flare at the hem.

While others are as wide as skirts. Notice that for the rightmost coat, even the belt is exaggeratedly wide. Also, while horizontal stripes may have already been repopularized by two New York designers for Spring 2009, the application of Thom Browne tri-color bands makes the stripes entirely his own.

Why must red pants always return to haunt me? Especially since they actually look dandy once worn with navy blazers — with or without piping.

Thom Browne plaids are again present. And even though one can already perform a curtsey with the cut of these coats, I am beginning to believe there is something else to the shape. Similarities to the poncho somehow enable them to give a feeling of greater protection.