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NYFW: Tom Ford’s Classic Glamour At His S/S ...

NYFW: Tom Ford’s Classic Glamour At His S/S 2019 Fashion Show

When Tom Ford sends the supermodel Joan Smalls on to the catwalk in a silk blouse chastely fastened to the chin, and puts Gigi Hadid in a polo neck rather than have her velvet blazer expose even a hint of cleavage, you know the world has changed.
On the opening night of New York fashion week, which runs until next Thursday, his latest collection revisited those Gucci glory days, but with the aesthetic updated for the #MeToo era.
Model in silk shirt on catwalk
 Slippery satin shirts tucked into trousers were reminiscent of the style that rocketed Tom Ford to stardom
Ford made his name in the 1990s by pushing to the limit the mantra of “sex sells”. His tenure at Gucci reached its apex with an advert in which the brand’s logo was shaved into a model’s pubic hair.

The first three looks in Wednesday evening’s show consisted of a slippery satin shirt tucked into trousers, the exact combination that launched Ford to stardom at Gucci. But this time, blouses were layered modestly over knits rather than unbuttoned to the breastbone, and trousers tailored and high-waisted rather than dangling from hipbones.

Gigi Hadid
 Gigi Hadid appears on the runway in a polo neck and blazer.
The first three looks in Wednesday evening’s show consisted of a slippery satin shirt tucked into trousers, the exact combination that launched Ford to stardom at Gucci. But this time, blouses were layered modestly over knits rather than unbuttoned to the breastbone, and trousers tailored and high-waisted rather than dangling from hipbones.

Evening wear for the new season revolved around fluid jersey, perfectly cut to drape dramatically to the floor. Two decades ago at Gucci, similar dresses had daring halternecks, or shark-bite cutouts to expose flesh at the base of the spine; this season, however, they came with matching cardigans.

The 90′ were a very sexualised time, and now is not a moment to be sexual. You actually can’t be sexual at the moment. The right thing at the right time is the right thing, but the right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing. Fashion is supposed to be and should be a fashion designer’s perception of where we are culturally, and now is not the time for super-sexy clothes.”Caramel and sugar pink, wine red and dove grey lent a soft filter to the collection. Ford described them as having “a warmth and humanity that I think we all crave at the moment”. The designer, who made headlines two years ago when he refused on principle to dress Melania Trump, said “the political climate has definitely influenced what he does. He doesn’t want  to look at aggressive clothes. he looks at  something beautiful and refined.”Sugar pink was one of the soft tones on display at Ford’s show.

Ford’s clothes remain rooted in classic glamour. Zippered pencil skirts and strappy high heels for women, with velvet tailoring cut to emphasize the waist for both men and women.“Everyone wants a waist, Men as well as women.  There is no more powerful sight in the world than a beautiful woman in a pair of high heels.”

Having already directed two films (A Single Man, and Nocturnal Animals), Ford, who moved from London to Los Angeles two years ago, has two Hollywood projects in the early stages. A Single Man

Having already directed two films (A Single Man, and Nocturnal Animals), Ford, who moved from London to Los Angeles two years ago, has two Hollywood projects in the early stages. But most of his time is focused on his $1.5 Billion  fashion empire, the bulk of which consists of perfume, cosmetics, watches and underwear. Everything takes years. Fashion is immediate, and that gives me a voice in popular culture. Nocturnal AnimalsNocturnal Animals

Even Ford’s fashion empire is dwarfed by the might of Ralph Lauren, which celebrated its bicentenary last year, and generates 70 million per year. An aspirational, idealized vision of preppy east coast Americana is bottled and sold as cotton polo shirts, cable-knit cotton sweaters, scented candles, button-down Oxford shirts and – at New York fashion week – silk palazzo pants and sequinned evening gowns.

Model in pink dress on catwalk
 Dresses were perfectly cut to drape dramatically to the floor.
This season, the Ralph Lauren show was staged in Ralph’s Cafe, a pop-up breakfast cafe installed in the flagship boutique, where the audience sat on leather banquettes and was served egg-white frittata, attended by waiting staff in crisp Ralph Lauren uniforms during the show.
Every piece in the collection spoke of grandeur and luxury, from filmy palazzo pants to crisp, gold-buttoned blazers. As an hour-long experience of full immersion in the Ralph Lauren world, it made the ideal showcase for a brand built on lifestyle envy.
By Ginny Reese

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