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“In fashion I don’t look back. The moment I turn my back on the runway, I’m thinking about what I am going to do next season. I don’t look back.” So said Tom Ford in October 2021 during a chat about his book 002. That, though, was then. In this now, where Ford’s sale of his namesake brand to Estee Lauder for $2.8 billion means he is understood to be heading for other pursuits by the end of 2023, it is only right and proper that he revisits what he has achieved. This collection, you suspect, will be the first of a few that double down on Ford’s iconography while acting to amplify it while he remains steering the ship.

Ford launched his menswear in April 2007, three years after leaving Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, and two years after starting his own brand via fragrance and eyewear partners. “I did the menswear out of personal need. I realized if I want these things and I can’t find them then other people do too.” What Ford wanted was the tailored creativity of Savile Row but stripped of its rigid delivery and then imbibed with a sexy hit of the new luxury codes he did so much to pioneer at Gucci.

As communicated via a member of his team, this collection’s 23-inch wide cuffed pant with peaked lapel and powerful shoulder suiting silhouette (best seen in look 33) plus the Prince of Wales check acted as a specific reference to Ford’s earliest disruptive sally against the skinny, Dior Homme hegemony. Look 13’s epauletted, double-breasted wool-cashmere officer’s coat with a funnel neck fastening was a nod to an outerwear piece that was amongst Ford’s best selling for both men and women while at Gucci. A caramel cafe racer jacket was also vv TF x GG. Profoundly Fordian were the jewel-tone, block color silk/organza day and evening looks, contemporary echoes of the late ’60s explosion of color on Savile Row as it was inflected by the psychedelic swirl of Carnaby Street and soundtracked by The Beatles at number 3.

The collection also featured points of evolution, especially in fabrication, and most especially of all in velvet, which came stamped in croc-relief and flocked on denim in neatly fitted and dangerously sleek casual jacket shapes. There was also stamped croc leather, fine gauge silk knits shot through with metallic foil, and little punkish mohair sweaters with faint graffiti reliefs. An amethyst viscose three-piece comprising jacket, track-style zip-up, and those cutely tapered pants combined tailored suit and leisure suit into an effectively rich and not at all kitsch fresh form.

As the first date in 2023’s believed farewell tour for Ford, this collection was full of highly-considered and deeply covetable trophy pieces—and prefaced the womenswear that is to come. He observed on that 2021 chat: “I say in the book that designing menswear is like Vicodin and designing womenswear is like cocaine, and it’s true. I enjoy designing both of them but they are entirely different.” Let’s savor Ford’s intoxicating fashion formulae of every flavor while he’s still on hand to cook them up.



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