Hope Is Here. Tom Ford SS21

Tom Ford’s spring-summer 2021 line-up – of course presented as a look-book – is the finale of the largely digital New York Fashion Week, which had missing many big names and was a mood rollercoaster. Some labels opted for sober pragmatism (like Khaite), while others for something more joyful and sweet (Rodarte for instance). Ford’s collection falls into the latter camp. “I honestly wasn’t sure I could make a collection even if I felt inspired to do so… I felt that fashion should simply go into hibernation for a year.” Of course, that would never do. Ford is the rare designer who knows what his woman wants before she does. The collection he put on the runway back in February was loaded with athletic gray sweats and patchworked jeans – exactly the kind of glam casual things that his customer might have liked to wear through quarantine.  For spring, the designer’s gut told him to do something that’s hopeful and exuberant. “The last thing I want to see are serious clothes,” he said. “I think we need an escape. I think we want to smile. I know what’s going on in our world right now doesn’t make us want to smile. So that’s what I’ve done: hopeful clothes that make you smile.” Ford found the conduit for those vibes in a documentary about the fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez and the ’70s models Pat Cleveland and Donna Jordan whom Lopez sketched. That is the era that he loved to work around at Gucci. And when Ford looks back at his Gucci years, expect good things. This is an extrovert’s collection, with plenty of skin and very little pretense (I just hate the logo-ed bands…). There’s a compelling ease to the clothes, even though the attitude is dressed up. Shirts are unbuttoned to the navel, nodding to the cult spring 1995 Gucci show. The colorful florals seen on several slinky dresses and a pair of neat blazers for both women and men are cheering. The tie-dyed caftan and pool robes are heaven and make me think of Samantha Jones. Maybe, in the end, we will again enjoy festive garden parties?

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Yoga in the Morning, Oscars in the Evening. Tom Ford AW20

Here we are again: the fashion month has started. But it actually kicked off in Los Angeles, not New York, for a brief Tom Ford moment. The Oscars night is this Sunday, so Ford just couldn’t split between the two coasts – dressing the actors is his domain. And he has always mentioned LA as the city that reasonates more with his brand’s identity than the Big Apple. Rene Zellweger, Miley Crus, John Hamm, Jennifer Lopez and Demi Moore all took a rest in the front row last evening, and saw what you can always expect from Tom: sublime eveningwear, for both men and women. Will any of these lace dresses hit the red carpet tomorrow? Big hopes for the crystalline numer with double velvet bows. While the after dark part was great (or actually properly classic), the ready-to-wear definitely didn’t impress this much. Backstage, Ford was speaking about the Los Angeles way of life, which surely is all about Chateau Marmont, yoga and palo santo, but I’m still not sure if jersey sweat-pants, sweat-skirts and sweat-tops (with merch-like logos…) aren’t too lazy for a fashion show (and it’s not 2014 outside!). The floor-sweeping tie-dye caftans styled with all that athleisure-wear didn’t help either.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Satin 90s. Tom Ford AW20

As told by Tom Ford’s team at his Milan showroom, when the designer was making his name at Gucci in the latter-half of the 1990s, he had a routine when it came to pants. Apparently Ford would loop a strip of leather through the two front belt-loops either side of his fly and knot them to ensure a just-so fit. For autumn-winter 2020, Ford offers his pant-tie – now called an Obi – that was incorporated into the kicky iron-creased pants that accompanied his attractive jackets. The looks is non-chalant, yet at ease. These suits came in a multitude of hues and fabrications – like gently washed denim or the incredible lilac satin(or the Madonna-Gucci-shirt-blue!). When shorn of a matching jacket the pant shape in denim looked as if taken straight from the 90s. Summing up, Ford’s wardrobe is super hot this season.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Time for Ease. Tom Ford SS20

Tom Ford took his guests to the least Tom Ford place ever: the subway, specifically the disused platform of the Bowery stop. Ford’s press notes mentioned the famous shot of Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick emerging out of a manhole cover. The subway also clicks with his recent interest in simplicity. “I think that it’s a time for ease,” he wrote, “and in that way a return to the kind of luxurious sportswear that America has become known for all over the world.” Indeed, there was lots of luxurious sportswear, but properly slick and rich: a jersey t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up worn with a maxi, duchesse satin skirt; sharp satin blazers styled with nylon basketball shorts (shorts – a topic Ford hates, but confronts in the most sublime way). The final looks feautured molded plastic tops that were a homage to Yves Saint Laurent’s Lalanne breastplates. Ford kept them in Jeff Koons’ balloon dogs colours and in result they perfectly fitted the matching flowing maxi skirts models wore. Was this Ford’s best collection? Definitely not. But it proved once again that the designer thrives in making his sexy, never-lazy aesthetical language relevant and powerful.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Sleek. Tom Ford AW19

Hello, NYFW. New season is on, again. There’s no rest from fashion. But then, Tom Ford isn’t here for the newness. For autumn-winter 2019, the designer delivered what he does best: the 90s sleek we all know and used to love at his Gucci. Two specific looks – worn by Maria Carla Boscono and Gigi Hadid – were a straightforward reference to his iconic 1996 collection for the Italian house. The deep, cherry red velvet suit. The jersey column eveningwear from the 2019 outing was a remiscent of the gowns that closed the same collection back then (all-white, worn by Kate Moss and Amber Valletta). Other than that, Tom returned to his tailoring roots, reworking the codes he famously established. The grey horse-rider blazer was sublime, while the version in satin black looked more than relevant with a de luxe hoodie. Some looks were complemented with groovy faux fur hats, while others were styled with sparkgling stilettos. At the very same time, the Tom Ford man should own two looks: a velvet suit, kept in the most alluring shade of burgundy, and a suit in dove grey leather. That’s it.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.