Tom Ford: when fake is more relevant than the real thing
Just when some naysayers were mumbling that Tom Ford was drifting off into fashion irrelevancy when along comes the American designer with his best women’s collection this decade.
All the better, one suspects, because it reflects Ford’s immediate new surroundings, seeing as he now lives in Los Angeles. Ford may have been born in Texas but he has managed to work and play in the four great fashion capitals: London, Milan, New York and Paris. Now, he is spitting out his creative sparks in the movie and celebrity capital of the planet, LA. And this collection was all the better for it.
Ford, who recently became a vegan, had one major idea this season – fake fur. And the result was rather marvelous. Typically a fake fur look is rather pathetic when seen on a runway. Its sheen, its scent, the way it moves never seems quite right. But by mixing and matching mosaics of pink cheetah; anthracite mink; black shearling and golden lynx, Ford created a great new fake fur aesthetic. All of the fabrics animal-friendly - whether bold blousons; saucy leggings and divine redingotes. Throw in sequined tops bearing the legend 'Tom Ford of Beverly Hills' or a series of delightfully cut black jumpsuits and you got a punchy new stylistic statement.
Staged to a high-tempo mish-mash soundtrack of classic soul and funk in a perfectly judged Prussian blue set of deep bleachers inside the Uptown Armory on Park Avenue, this was an impressive display by Ford. The designer has plenty of success in accessories to pay for this sort of runway statement. Seeing as last year, Ford sold almost two million pairs of sunglasses and spectacles – retailed through some 14,000 sales points. No wonder, then, that two nights before – every single look in his Gunter Sachs playboy revival menswear show wore a pair of shades.
Some things do stay the same: like the crisp black suit and the designer barb in which Ford took his bow to hearty applause led by Julianne Moore and Zayn Malik. Backstage, however, was an unholy mess. It makes an adult long for the professionally organized post-show of his heyday at Gucci. Then again, it all seemed quite calm compared to Washington, where the government went into shutdown two hours after Ford’s show ended. And they say fashion is for hysterics? Look to the White House for that.
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