Tom Ford at #NYFW: Seductive glamour, grown up separates and 70’s disco
For Spring, Tom Ford focused on subtle neutrals, but AW19 comes with a seductive bite in rich palettes of juniper and seaweed, peppered with regal plum and pewter undertones and feminine pastels.
To the beat of Chaka Khan’s newest release ‘Like Sugar’, model-in-demand Mayowan Nicholas (@mayowanicholas) opened the show in powerful separates. Stand-out, satin, plum-coloured tailored trousers were accompanied by a loose-fitting powered blue shirt layered over a rusty-peach knitted polo. On Nicholas’s crown sat a blush-coloured fur bucket hat (previously seen during past collections at Miu Miu, Pologeorgis and Anya Hindmarch), which was a reoccurring accessory throughout the show.
Ford noted at the end of his Spring 2019 show that “fashion has gone as far as it can possibly go into the irony world,” (queue Viktor & Rolf 2019 couture). This season, his clothes are unapologetically just so, with signature Ford seductive glamour and irresistible sensuality and a waist ( “Our customer always wants a waist no matter what, no matter the fashion, they want a waist. Or they won’t buy it. They want a waist,”. Tom Ford during a SS19 interview with WWD).
Ford’s solution to cracking the irony paradox is focusing more on his consumer and less on fashion meme culture. He’s done this with rich tailoring in varying shades of satin, smart accessorising (an abundance of draping scarfs in silk and 80’s-era chainmail), voluminous fur teddy coats in candy pink, seductive velvet tuxedo jackets, and sky-high, glamorous, platform peep-toe pumps.
There was no street or sport references here (another shared characteristic of his SS18 collection) and instead, the collection was distinctly elegant. Pieces from Ford’s AW19 men’s collection were interspersed throughout the show in tried-and-tested silhouettes.
It comes as a surprise that Ford doubled-down on real fur when many of the world’s major fashion houses have pledged against it. However, the designer is making an effort to use less animal by-products and focus on food by-products for production instead. His issue with using less fur, he commented last year, is that food by-products don’t have the same sex-appeal as real fur.
A considered mix of Chaka Khan, Suzi Lane’s 1979 hit ‘Harmony’, the Bee Gees ‘Staying Alive’ and Crowded House ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ conjured a deeper, more potent response to the state of the nation, both politically and for the fashion industry. Crowded Houses’ lyrics “they come, they come, to build a wall between us. You know they won’t win”, left a particularly bitter aftertaste.
He finished his AW19 collection with a collection of easy-flowing gowns in silk jersey, accented with trademark TF hardware. For the finale, a dazzling gown and matching relaxed-fit jacket sashayed down the catwalk, perfectly timed to the disco music playing.