Never have so many had so few to thank for so much. Yes yes, I know this is 'only' fashion, not the 'Battle of Britain'. But maybe it could be the 'Battle for Style', because Browns - the South Molton Street shop that celebrates four decades of trading this year - have done nothing else over the years but kitting us out in fabulous clothes. Menswear, womenswear and something edgier for the younger female audience; all can be found in their array of stores, next to Bond Street tube station.
Its founder and buyer for many years, Joan Burstein - Mrs. B to most people - have also proved to be of personal significance to the British fashion industry. Mrs B famously bought John Galliano's graduation collection and put it in her shop window, and Comme des Garcons and Jil Sander have always been close to Browns' heart. All this, and much more, is now being celebrated in a book and an exhibition during the month of May.
Browns has selected 40 people among their Browns' ambassador crowd, dressed them in Browns approved clothing and got Italian photographer Paolo Roversi to document the occasion. The expo, titled 'Browns: 40 Years of Fashion Innovation', looks closer at the boutique's talent spotting tradition. The exclusive shots seen here on Dazed Digital feature Brit designers Erdem and Gareth Pugh, and Russian super model Natalia Vodianova, who is wearing Hussein Chalayan’s 'Buried' collection. Alexander McQueen affiliated set designer Simon Costin have curated the show and collaborated on the book, which, except for mentioned models and designers, feature Azzedine Alaia, Rosita Missoni, Sonia Rykiel, Donna Karen, John Galliano and Ralph Lauren.
Browns: 40 Years of Fashion Innovation opens at The Regent Penthouses and Lofts, The Courtyard, 16-18 Marshall Street, off Broadwick Street W1, from 13th May until 30th May.