Her Royal Highness Is Back

Tom Ford is back but did he ever really go away? Within one year of parting ways with the Gucci Group, Ford had already inked a cosmetics deal with Estee Lauder and an eyewear license with Marcolin Group. Less than a year after that Ford announced he would be producing menswear and opening a flagship store on Madison Avenue. Then there was fragrance, the film and now here we are with the ultimate: womenswear. Ford hasn’t strayed from the limelight and has said he “missed having that voice in popular culture”.
Ford showed his first womenswear collection at the Madison Avenue flagship to a select group of journalists and no photographers were allowed in except for Terry Richardson.
The first images from the collection appeared two months later. This was done because Ford feels the public see the collections too soon and by the time they hit the stores they’re over it. He said "I don't think it ultimately serves the customer, which is the whole point of my business-not to serve journalists or the fashion system.” Lol, that’s such a lie. By cutting out the blogs, the tweets, the tumblrs, Ford won over the invited journalists. Not because it was a knockout collection but because he made them feel special again. Cathy Horyn of The New York Times called it “extraordinary”. Suzy Menkes of IHT said it was a “heroic return to fashion”. Now, I liked what I saw of the collection but extraordinary? Heroic? Okay.
It’s no secret that most journalists dislike bloggers and hate having to make room for them at fashion week. Tavi’s pink feather bow hat furore sums up the general attitude towards new media.

As for the clothes it looks exactly like he picked up where he left off way back in 2004. Flared trouser suits, big hair, disco glamour, unbuttoned shirts. Ford said it won’t be too trend-driven like Gucci which I think is nice you know. He can relax a little more with that type of direction and not feel like he has to wildly jump through a new set of hoops every six months. This could well serve to make the clothes more special and less throw away if they have longevity. So yeah, it was a nice collection. It was sexy, less sleazy, straight-forward, easy to understand clothes.

The only thing that kinda grates me is that apparently he prefers to be called Mr Ford. What is this, an episode of Mad Men? You’re not an old world couturier ripping sleeves off jackets because they don’t sit right. You’re from Texas. But that’s the image he’s creating, a throw-back to what fashion used to be like with salon-style presentations, ‘private blend’ fragrances (which totes sounds like a top shelf instant coffee from the supermarket) and the illusion of exclusivity. All of which he’s remarkably adept at doing.

It will be interesting to see how he fits back in with the fashion industry. I feel like Marc Jacobs stepped in as his equally talented but much less hot replacement as the tippy-top American designer fashion darling.


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