Tom Ford -- SPRING 2023 MENSWEAR
While Tom Ford could not be reached to discuss this collection of menswear (leaving a senior design team to relay background intel instead), the founder’s finely manicured fingerprints were clearly visible upon it. The Tom Ford Ocean Plastic timepieces and Tom Ford big shades were blatant accessories to the prime ready-to-wear event. You could almost detect a headily-spritzed whiff of Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille or Neroli Portofino while considering a collection that delicately advanced the house’s fundamental menswear identity while simultaneously reinforcing it.
This broke down into three overlapping facets. The first was louche formal tailoring, with a hint of 1950s in the cut, reportedly inspired in part by Ford’s recent shooting of nu-Elvis Austin Butler. The broad-shouldered, 1.5 breasted Austin suit shape, new this season, was the clearest testament to that. It came delivered in multiple jewel-toned shades and creamy alternatives. The fabrics ran from viscose and wool to mohair, and Austin plus its co-stars were often styled with sneakers and double-zipped silk bombers worn in lieu of waistcoats. There was a trench in silk that should never encounter rain if you want to preserve its looks.
Then came the louche semi-formal casual wear. This encompassed skinny-hipped silhouettes and featured Cafe Racer jackets in stamped animalia-pattern leather or quilting effects. There was a nappa leopard trucker worn over a leopard silk shirt which was in turn worn above a leopard silk tank. Leopard pants and ponyskin leopard boots prowled south to complete a look with more leopard than Lampedusa. The denim was carefully ripped and repaired in homage to Ford’s own lockdown-scarred staples. Velour animalia pajamas provided this chapter’s climax.
The third facet angled towards louche elevated sportswear. A fine mesh that had previously been hinted at was brought to the fore in blousons and tanks worn over patterned viscose shorts—once a no-go for Ford but of late a happy category. Then came robes in expressively patterned velour. At the end Ford U-turned back to tailoring, presenting a handsome wad of $10,000–20,000 couture-ish level jackets in beading or ultra-rich moire fabrics. The final encore came courtesy of the quintessential mid-century U.S. evening jacket: the Ratpack uniform remixed afresh by Ford.