‘Cross cultural, multi ethnic, happy and maximalism,’ replied Tom Ford when asked to sum up his collection. He was standing in a throng, as immaculate as ever, kissing some of his guests good-bye.
He had just presented his autumn / winter 2013 collection in the grand setting of Lancaster House, St James’s, where a battalion of handsome clean-cut young men, all in Tom Ford black, stood around looking, well, handsome.
Ford hasn’t shown his womenswear on the catwalk for several seasons now, preferring instead to talk through his collection personally with small batches of journalists, so there was an air of anticipation. He clearly wanted this to be an impactful show and, naturally, he delivered in spectacular fashion.
There was everything from disco to ponchos – make that disco-ponchos – monochrome, Navaho, rock-chick. Fringing! Zig-zags! Texture! Colour! Patchwork! Beading!
This was Ford in the fast lane, speeding through references so fast it was hard to take it all in.
The overall effect was of a decadence that could only possibly be enjoyed by the world’s most wealthy. They will surely love his monochrome section of patchworked furs and leathers with long swishing fringes, or the ‘sportswear’ – loosely termed – that included multi-bright floral beaded ‘hoodies’. As for the knee-high heeled boots, that came with almost every look and were lavished with every conceivable luxury material imaginable - only the limo-driven need apply.
You can bet your bottom dollar, those lithe finale sheath dresses in plain – yes, plain - stretch silk, save a starburst explosion of jewels on one hip, will make it down the Academy Awards red carpet later this month.
It’s incredible to believe this dazzling display of opulence came from the same some-time movie-maker who gave us A single Man, but Ford seemed to want to stamp on his hitherto stylised ‘good-taste’. As he said, it was about being ‘happy’ and after seasons of serious minimalism, perhaps it’s time to pile it all back on again?