Tom Ford has never been one for subtlety. The unapologetic boldness, the loud sex appeal, that Gucci 'G' shaved onto Carmen Kaas’ pubic hair and the rich and clever sensuality of both his own line and his work for Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent before - glamour and upfront celebration of the woman who embraces it are a part of the man. This season’s A/W 18 offering was no exception - it harkened back to his boldest days, before the films. The collection was fun, it was over the top, it had identity.
The theme? Beverley Hills. Ford zeroed in on his new zip code, giving us 90210, eighties excess with all the glitz, all the glam, and no shortage of fur, sequins, zebra stripes, leopard print, and plenty of metallic. There were pink and tan leopard-printed furs, dressed up with massive Murakami-style silk patches, a pale pink and black sequinned zebra stripe legging on Kaia Gerber, fur enhanced blood red leopard printed puffer coating, and slick zebra skintight power suiting. Cherry red leopard printed ruffled mini dresses and fishnet stockings appeared. There were also mini purses reading 'Pussy Power' - this is Los Angeles of the post-Weinstein era. Even with all the excess and surface level exuberance, Ford is a designer who pushes a dialogue where a woman can look like sex, and speak out about her human boundaries all the same. A structured tuxedo jumpsuit with a plunging neckline and a silver encrusted belt buckle felt like a new (very liberal) power suit. The Tom Ford woman takes charge.
Is it all too much? Maybe for some. But it is glamorous in a truly old school fashion, and it was hard not to smile when Joan Smalls stomped down the runway in sparkling metallic leggings, fishnets and a show-stopping multicolour fur coat to the tune of California Love. It’s hard not to imagine Hollywood embracing quite a few of these looks - not to mention many other woman with means, and a confidence to be seen, in Ford’s new home and elsewhere.