Front Row

New York Fashion Week FW21 – Tom Ford on a Liberating Form of Post-Pandemic Deconstructed Luxury

Forever daring and thoughtful, Tom Ford has gone through a period of introspection, like everybody else, to come out of this pandemic-hit year sexier than ever before. Luxury is still there but feels younger, and as for his signature elements, they got intensified. The Fall/Winter 2021 looks like the ultimate revenge wardrobe, the way to get back to real life stronger and more irresistible than ever before! We only need to take a look at his own collection notes to check in with his frame of mind and feel liberated:

“It is hard to imagine what we will want to wear when the pandemic is over. Fashion, like the rest of our lives, has been in a kind of suspended animation. Autumn 21, for me, is all about strength. About power. About reclaiming our lives. I began designing a few months ago, thinking that by autumn, I would be in the mood for very extravagant, very worked materials and finishes as a contrast to the simplicity of the pullover sweatshirts that we have been living in for the past year. Ultimately, I ended up taking the upper halves of these handmade, almost couture-like pieces and cutting them into jackets and tops, and putting them with cut-off jeans in a graphic bleach wash that I have been working on. I stripped away the construction and layers of the evening clothes to end up with simple, but very delicate and completely handmade slip dresses. The slight deconstruction of luxurious pieces is something that I feel will be a legacy of the pandemic for a few seasons to come. A more casual way to be extravagant. With tailoring, I found myself streamlining and making things sharper. Stripping away to the point that sometimes only a jacket is left. This looks very cool if you are comfortable with your body and have the right under pieces – but for most, a pair of tights or skin-tight pants would give the same look while keeping things clean, sleek and real. I am a minimalist at heart, and even when I design romantic collections, they somehow end up looking somewhat slick. I love short skirts. I always have. Being a child in the 60’s did that to me, I think. This season, I like the shortest of short. Dangerously short skirts and the tiniest of shorts. Skinny pants, stirrup pants, and leggings worn with slouchy, oversized mohair knitwear. Large volume on top, small and tight on the bottom. Sharp tailoring. Huge oversized coats and some that are down-filled velvet or ultra-soft leather. Military details on coats and gold buttons. Chains. On shoes, bags, skirts, and biker details on shorts and pants. Stiletto pumps or stretch leather boots with the sharpest of toes. Earrings made of broken glass and mirror tied together with 18k gold wire. Earrings with everything but mostly for day and less for night. There is a certain nod to the 60’s, and even the 80’s – and I suppose a bit of Edie Sedgwick worked her way into the collection. While she is not new as a muse, she had a powerful sense of style that I think has always stayed with me. When I was young, there was a women’s underwear ad where a woman wearing nothing but her underwear and a coat goes out on the town. It was also a very Edie Sedgwick thing to do. And so I thought how great it would be to have cashmere underwear that was actually made for this and worn with oversized coats. Color is something that I have been drawn to more and more since moving to la a few years ago from a colder more serious London. Sugar pink, hot pink, lilac, lavender, cobalt, sunflower yellow and bare legs for winter seem actually to make sense. At least in LA. In the rest of the world a pair of black tights, turtle neck and military coat make the color seem plausible. Fierce, powerful and badass are words that resonate with me this season. I mean, who doesn’t want to be badass? Especially after being trapped at home for a year.”

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