A show that got me particularly excited this season was Tom Ford, which took place at London’s Lancaster House in full-on glamour style as befitting the American designer. Returning to the catwalk after almost ten years away, Ford embraced the medium with gusto allowing his imagination to wander across cultural and ethnic boundaries with attention paid to Mexican embroidery in places, Native American styling in others and monochrome beading and prints that echoed of Art Deco.
Always expertly crafted, lending a certain something that has always been particular to his vision and implies wealth beyond the ordinary; Ford served up a collection that was oh so polished and finished with the cinematic gloss of a well-constructed production. Explaining his cross referential inspirations, the designer wanted to reflect the international and cosmopolitan nature of London itself as a locale inhabited by people of many different lands. “We’re becoming so blended,” he said.
And what of the clothes, in one word, colour. Eschewing the traditional minimalism, Ford made his runway return one to remember with lashings of, at times, garish colour. Hoodies and bombers came in super bright electric shades, while patchwork fur coats married leopard print and vivid pink ahead of shimmering sequin ponchos and trousers that were almost bejewelled for their sequin coverage. Tight skirts featured curved slits at their fronts, vibrant florals and pattern worked their way up chunky knee-high boots, leather jackets and tunics came embellished with tribal fringing and skirts, jackets and coats were comprised of graphic suede mixes. There was lace and sparkle and beading and that Mexican embroidery evident on full hooded coats in a nod perhaps to one or two traditional costumes that had directed Ford’s inspirational journey.
A touch of Pop Art was thrown in for good measure on floor-skimming evening gowns that featured characterful beaded “kapow” explosions at the hip sitting nicely amid the overall spectacle of grandeur and stylistic splendour. Celebrating not only a return to the catwalk but the phenomenal success of his label, which is still going strong with 100 stores set to be in place globally by the culmination of 2014, Ford asserted “business is good”.