Tom Ford: Autumn 12

When Tom Ford presents, you listen. With your heart in your mouth.


Not just because it’s skipping a beat, because he is incredibly charming, but because you want him to triumph in his personal quest to conceive the perfect Tom Ford collection.

If it’s possible, in the austere metal halls of his London HQ, today’s proceedings felt more relaxed. Let’s not pretend that Ford was there serving tea, but gone were the confidentiality agreements and the sense of foreboding that lingered before.


The no pictures rule still applied, as Ford continues to forge ahead with his secretive salon style show. But that’s ok, because his harking back to a simpler time - when clothes were forever pieces, and collections arrived in-store to a frenzy of anticipated surprise is an enchanting motive.

In fact, Ford admitted that parts of his autumn 12 collection reference his early work and from the chunky gold hardwear to the tailoring, Ford has dialled down to what he does best. Lest we forget Ford knows menswear, so it was to suiting and clean lines that he was drawn.


The collection was closely guarded (by dashing men in suits at every door) so without pictures the description will seem crude – but it was the ultimate in luxury dressing, for the woman with the ultimate bank balance, who has the desire to dress in the skin of every animal going.

Ford is a traditionalist and he strives to create clothing for his Venus, he has in three seasons successfully created the notion of the ‘Tom Ford woman’ a groomed version of perfection (perhaps a female version of himself), who he told us, isn’t one to slavishly follow the seasons. She is, “someone who doesn’t want to see herself coming and going.”

He admitted that this season the collection is edited to give a “tighter more cohesive view” and overall it did seem reductive. With less colour than previous seasons and structured cuts, the collection was clean, sleek and sharp.

Little black dresses sell well for the designer, and for autumn they are punctuated with pitched velvet shoulders and beautiful bow-back detail. Across the collection the level of detail is atomic, with every single scale from a snakeskin appliquéd onto stretch jersey by hand, and over twelve hours of hand stitching going into one suit jacket, there was no room for error here.

Ford’s personal favourite sat at the simpler end of the collection, a white floor-length dress with a detachable cape, and a jersey tube dress embellished with crystals, and a stretch-black tulle dress covered in white feathers had glamorous appeal.

Ford takes his tailoring expertise and applies it to a wearable womanly cut. He said, “we made men’s clothes first. We had so many requests from women to make a man’s suit for them. The reality is a woman doesn’t actually want a man’s suit…”

And that summed it up, Ford went on to explain exactly what his ideal woman wants, and he got even closer to her this season.

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