Monday, November 15, 2010

Return of the King...

It's been six long years since Tom Ford took his last bow on a fashion runway, although take it from me at times it's felt like an eternity. There have truly been moments when I have been keenly aware that something was missing from fashion, and not surprisingly those times have usually coincided with fashion week. What I'm about to say might sound like I'm giving Ford too much credit, but I honestly believe that when Tom left Gucci fashion lost a bit of it's luster and excitement, and it still hasn't entirely recovered from that loss. While his departure certainly hasn't been the only cause of that, nor has it been the biggest blow to fashion, looking back it does seem like his farewell was the beginning of the end. Slowly fashion has become less glamorous and less seductive, not to mention that any kind of mystique surrounding the industry has been completely obliterated thanks to factors like the increasing influence of celebrities in fashion, the insane popularity of fashion among people who don't actually know anything about it, and the marketing of fashion as yet another form of entertainment. It also just seems like real fashion moments have become fewer and farther apart. Not all designers can create true excitement with a runway show, or an ad campaign, or a fragrance launch and whether you like him or loathe him the fact is that Tom Ford was, and is, capable of working a fashion moment for all it's worth.

In the six years since he bowed out of the theater of fashion he has collaborated with Estée Lauder, branded his name on status symbol eyewear, created a line of successful luxury fragrances, launched a full-scale menswear collection, dressed countless celebrities in said menswear, opened about 20 free-standing Tom Ford boutiques internationally, directed a critically acclaimed film, and recently expanded into cosmetics with his new line of lipsticks and soon-to-be-released nail lacquers. Writing it all down in one sentence kind of makes you appreciate just how busy he's been, and lord knows a self-proclaimed perfectionist like Ford isn't going to let any product with his name on it escape inspection. But despite all that he's done in the last six years the one thing that his fans have been most concerned with was when Ford would finally go back to designing womenswear and showing on a runway. Back in September right at the start of New York fashion week, after years of waiting, speculation, and wondering "what would it be like?" the news spread like wildfire that Ford would finally be launching his women's collection with an intimate presentation at his Madison Avenue flagship. As the scoop leaked we found out that not only would celebrities be modeling the clothes but that photography of any kind was strictly prohibited. That news just about killed my buzz until the reviews from the show started pouring in the day after it took place. In all seriousness I cannot for the life of me remember a show that garnered such unanimously glowing reviews from those in attendance, and the descriptions of the scene, the clothes and the impressive cast of celebrities, style icons, veteran supermodels and in demand new faces that graced the catwalk only stoked the flames of anticipation. With the reviews there were a few snapshots that quickly made the online rounds, adding to the excitement. It was after the show that the reason for the media ban was announced; Ford would not only be relaunching his website with photos and video footage of the presentation come winter, but he would also be guest editing the December/January issue of Vogue Paris where the collection would be featured in it's entirety. What we didn't know was that American Vogue would also have a feature on Ford's women's debut and that the feature would be available before Vogue Paris. So here it is, kids. Savor it, because who knows how long it will be before we get more.

Gorgeous, not that I'm at all surprised. I don't know about you, but for me winter can't come soon enough. Needless to say that when it does, and when the rest of the features finally become available I will be reviewing the entire collection as soon as the euphoria wears off.

all images from thanks to Flashbang at tFS

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