Tom Ford: Underground USA
today Sep 10, 2019
In case we didn’t already know, it turns out that Tom Ford is still capable of tackling two jobs at the same time: knocking the New York season into shape as new chairman of the CFDA, and creating an impressive new collection.
Actually, make that three tasks, since Ford also staged a great show, taking a select regiment of fashion insiders and tastemakers deep into the bowels of Manhattan. A disused subway station, which one entered Doctor Who-like via a funky wee bar at a disused corner store on Kenmare and the Bowery.
A derelict station, with repair workers guarding the tracks and a front row of battered chairs - the perfect setting for a subtle change of gears by the Texan designer.
The mood went underground too. Tom injecting a perfect dose of perversity into the fashion, right from the opening trio. Billowing satin bubble dresses in rust and ecru topped with slinky silk tops. Gigi Hadid and company done up with a funky Iroquois hairdos. Kaia Gerber next out with micro-bloomers, endless legs and a satin tuxedo cut with the exactness of a metal vapor laser.
“Like most designers, when I begin a new season I start with a wall of images that I find inspirational at that particular moment in time… I am usually reluctant to talk about the images that inspire me, as I believe that it was Coco Chanel that said 'creativity is the art of concealing one’s source.' I’ve always loved that quote. What I believe that she meant by that was that one should be inspired by things but change them in a way that makes them one’s own. I always hope that I do that and that the clothes speak for themselves, but this season there were a few key images that were on my wall that very directly inspired the collection,” explained Ford in his program notes.
The key inspirations? Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick coming out of a manhole cover in NYC in 1965; Isabelle Adjani and Christophe Lambert in Luc Besson's Subway, all the way to simple Halston silk jersey pieces.
A divine jumpsuit cut with dhoti pants in mystical Maya blue silk worn with pride by Lineisy Montero was another highlight as were some techy cobalt leather suits – composed with Attic precision. Classical compositions diced up with self-assured sexuality. Badass Bond gals for 2020.
In a co-ed show, Ford also firmly reminded viewers that when it comes to the classy, fantasy smoking jacket for red carpet or epic personal moments, no one really competes with this creator.
A great bluesy industrial soundtrack featuring Jacob Banks powered on the cast, who strutted dramatically past the decayed tiles and battered blue steel columns of the subway platform. All climaxing with a quartet of metallic bras, sculpted with Praxiteles-worthy precision.
Adding another soupcon of suggestiveness and helping win for Ford a healthy burst of applause from the audience.
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