A tennis shoe! That most humble of objects that might have never dreamed of being cast in a Tom Ford collection, and with good reason, today saw its fortunes change in the pristine-as-ever TF HQ. "When I started this company I said there is now way I would ever make a tennis shoe," said the designer, “Until I thought of something that really made it our shoe,” revealing to the audience’s audible surprise, two trainer designs. While they might have seemed a sharp deviation for a man known for his beautifully crafted suiting, they made perfect sense as part of the brand’s first purposefully casual collection to cater for “the other side” of their customer’s life. Not least because, despite being hi-tops and regular sneakers, they still had the Tom Ford stamp on them: one design made from brown and oxblood leather, hand-waxed for 3 days in the same way as the brand’s other state-of-the-art shoes, and the other design coming in a selection of black, navy and white velvet.
Shoes aside, the collection featured an impeccable array of looser, more relaxed winterwear, from light double-sided macs and duffle coats to luxurious shearling boned to cashmere and coyote-lined parkas. There was a return to the 60s feel of the previous autumn winter but the collegiate preppy was replaced by volume-over-slim-leg swagger. Ford also offered jeans in five different fits, two from salvaged fabrics, as well as more casual washed shirts for what could easily qualify as Bond’s weekend look (if 007 ever does weekends). The colour scheme shed off the bright pinks and limes from summer for a more muted palette of deep browns, green and plum purples, giving a new depth to knits, as well as to the sparingly balanced eveningwear portion.
Ford had updated the bestselling O’Connor suit made for Daniel Craig’s 007 screen incarnation in Skyfall and didn’t give a miss to several more flamboyant options in the blazer department. “It is difficult to consistently reinvent extravagant eveningwear without going into the land of Candelabra or whatever that film was” he shared, showing the brand’s signature smoking jacket in floral patterned and wet-dyed velvets. Mission accomplished, in secret-agent speak, for Ford has proven time and time again his mastery at spinning an irresistible fantasy world while never forgetting who his customer is. Even when taking up sportswear, he still remains a Rumpelstiltskin of the fashion world, turning even the sneaker into sartorial gold.