Ultra-Alluring Tom Ford
by laurie brookins
Ford with Lara Stone in his Fall 2011 beauty campaign.
By now the tale has taken on somewhat mythic proportions. Then again, if one were to craft the script of Tom Ford’s life, a climactic moment most assuredly would be the September 2010 launch of his womenswear label, an event that was equal parts high-wattage Hollywood and hush-hush secrecy.
Only 100 invitees watched (photography was strictly prohibited) as celebrities including Beyoncé and Julianne Moore walked not a red carpet on this New York night, but a dove-gray runway, each wearing Ford’s vision of “a small capsule collection, shown on the women I find most inspirational,” he says. The clothes exquisitely befit each wearer, from a leopard-print gown on Daphne Guinness to a white tuxedo on Lauren Hutton. After six years of the “When will he?” questions arising every season since Ford’s 2004 departure from Gucci, it was a fashion moment both seminal and triumphant.
It’s notable that Ford, who narrated the presentation, prefers to think of the event not as a room brimming with boldfaced names, but as a return to something he holds dear. “There is a sense of intimacy that has been lost in fashion over the last two decades, and it is important to me as a designer to bring that back,” he says.
Thus you arrive at the dichotomy of Tom Ford, designer of clothes that effortlessly straddle the duality of artful luxury and sexually charged energy, and dream-maker of luscious campaigns, sizzling magazine covers, and a once hungrily anticipated feature film, 2009’s A Single Man, which garnered both high critical praise and a healthy roster of nominations. Arguably the most coveted designer working today, Ford might have anything for the asking, and yet what he seeks is the private, personal attention and elegance of fashion’s bygone days.
LAC celebrates the women of its May/June 2013 issue at Palihouse in West Hollywood.