09/10/2013 09:25 EDT | Updated 11/10/2013 05:12 EST

Thom Browne goes for fashion extreme on the runway at fashion week

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The Thom Browne show at New York Fashion Week got a late start in front of an impatient crowd, but it wasn't fully for naught. Browne puts on a "show," not in the runway sense of the word, but in the theatrics that come with it.

Every model on his catwalk Monday evening at an art gallery in Chelsea was wearing white from head to toe. Other than a few black scribbles offered as a print, there was no other colour.

And each model wore white Latex in some shape or form. Maybe on the neck, maybe on the hem — maybe on the models' sweaty backs.

They all had teased-out, stressed-out buns, smudged red lipstick and the palest faces, no matter their skin colour.

This is a Thom Browne catwalk, get used to it.

He isn't using this to promote his retail styles for next season. Browne is reminding stylists, editors and retailers that fashion can be provocative.

This from the man who dressed first lady Michelle Obama during the inaugural festivities earlier this year? Does it get more mainstream?

Peel back the hyper-sculpted silhouettes with their "Hunger Games-style" beauty treatment and there was fine craftsmanship in the many pleats, layers and manipulation of fabric. There were portrait collars worthy of a Queen Elizabeth type, too. He showed that dramatic silhouettes have a place in everyday life — without the makeup.