Tom Ford opens New York Fashion Week
Frequently sizzling, often sensual and highly saleable the spring 2018 collection of Tom Ford seemed like an ideal way for the designer to re-conquer America, as the New York Fashion Week grapples with the departure of many of its young stars to show in Paris.
Supermodel traffic walking on the runway and sitting in the front row at this show, staged in the Uptown Armory on Park Avenue on a wet and windy Wednesday night. With Cindy Crawford and Helena Christensen as guests; and contemporary stars on the runway like Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner – the latter with a new haircut curiously reminiscent of Victoria Beckham.
Celebrities cued up for paparazzi shots before a huge white Tom Ford logo wall – from Kim Kardashian to Chaka Khan to Julianne Moore, who embraced Ford heartily post-show, sighing: “Great to have you back in New York!”
The key item in the collection was the tuxedo jacket, as Ford riffed on some of his best ideas from his tenure at Yves Saint Laurent. Even as he broke new ground with his most powerful item - pagoda shaped dinner jacket with satin lapels worn over a gymnastic parallel bar pants. Moreover, one sensed Ford has been putting in the hours in his design studio – as the collection brimmed with lots of smartly cut pants – from matador-shaped jeans to bulging jodhpurs teamed with double-breasted jackets.
The whole show was classic high-octane Ford; 80s power-shoulder jackets; mega flared elongated pants and a couple of sensational leather trench coats, one in dazzling orange that will be shot in scores of magazine editorials. The Texan designer even added in a soupcon of athleisure with sporty bras that matched mannish officer’s dinner jackets.
His eveningwear was more formulaic – though just assuredly commercial. And why not, as Ford builds America’s latest fashion empire. To cite just one example of his global reach, Ford will sell almost two million pairs of sunglasses this year, with an average price of above $250 dollars, meaning close to half a billion at retail. Considering that he still only sells in about 7,000 eyewear stores, while his old house Gucci retails in four times as many shops, and you can see there is plenty of growth in the pipeline for the Tom Ford brand.
“Why am I in New York? I want to be consistent, which means I plan to show here for a while. It feels good to be back,” smiled Ford, attired in a nipped at the waist black suit and tie with a new Desperate Dan beard.
Post-show, half the audience of 1,000 danced at Ford’s party. Virgil Abloh DJed and waiters scurried around in athletic shorts with naked torsos – which was rather passé, seeing as Ford used the same idea back in his glory days at Gucci.
Crawford wandered past the bar with husband Rande Gerber, as did EJ Johnson, son of basketball great Magic Johnson, who posed with the bar staff while dressed in black patent leather dress with high heels. Only in New York folks; only in New York.
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