The see-now, buy-now trend that emerged in 2015 has been the nadir of the fashion industry. Its nascency instigated many discussions surrounding the state of the fashion industry and, truthfully, it was important in that sense. However, as a business strategy it has worked for some, not for others; many are opposed to it—after all it is rooted in fast fashion, which some call the death of fashion.
On the first day of New York Fashion Week, Tom Ford presented his Spring 2018 collection. He had been one of the designers to experiment with see-now, buy-now and it didn’t stick. On Monday April 3 he released images from his Spring 2017 show. On Thursday April 6 he was receiving press and buyers at his New York showroom to present Fall 2017, a return to presenting his in-season. Nothing about his presentations have been conventional. (The unconventionality could be credited to his other pursuits, such as writing and directing the neo-noir thriller Nocturnal Animals.) He has had an on-again, off-again relationship with the official fashion calendar, he’s presented in Los Angeles during awards season and through the medium of film with a Lady Gaga music video directed by Nick Knight. His Fall 2016 show, presented last September was a dinner-cum-fashion show. Spring 2018 was a return to the run-of-the-mill show but his was at the Park Avenue Armoury, Kim Kardashian West and Julianne Moore were front row.
He revisited the 1990s sensibilities that punctuated earlier part of his career, when he was designing at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. His work looks to the 1990s as the pinnacle of sex, fabulosity and richness. These clothes were pristinely tailored, making use of the methods at his menswear shows—his female clients were reportedly asking for their own iterations; here, there were options aplenty with wide-shoulder, double-breast suiting in classic black or more exciting in hot pink. The best look in the show was Gigi Hadid’s pale pink form-fitting wrap dress with shoulder pads and disco-ball sleeves—it was a distinctively modern reimagining of the decade.
There were denim looks too, rendered in high-waisted trousers and bra tops, blazers. His signature deconstructed jacket with inflated sleeves and an abbreviated skirt featured alongside knee high boots. The polish prevented most of the collection from veering into kitschy territory, although there were a few misfires—the audacious leather bomber jacket, the silver baggy top and trousers combo with the hems turned up, the black leather harem trousers, or a similar rendition in orange. Fashion operates in a cyclical universe, but there are some looks that should remain in the 1990s.
The aesthetics in this collection will not be universally appreciated as “fabulous”. However, the show was remarkable cohesive and didn’t jump from one epochal conquest to the next: this is one of fashion’s gravest issues, in the creative realm. Not only that, it was all unmistakably Tom Ford.
Photo Credit: Vogue Runway