Models walk the runway for the Tom Ford SS18 show at Park Avenue Armory in New York City. Image Credit: AFP

The first day of Fashion Week brought glitz, glamour and a slew of celebrities at Tom Ford’s ’90s-themed show. No one ever said Ford didn’t know how to make an entrance, or in this case, how to launch Fashion Week with a bang. His show at the cavernous Park Avenue Armory was a celebrity event of major proportion, drawing everyone from Kim Kardashian West to Julianne Moore to Liev Schreiber to Chaka Khan to Ciara to Cindy Crawford. No wonder the opening song on the soundtrack was David Bowie’s Fame.

Guests entering the vast space, which felt like a luxurious living room bathed in rose-hued light. The lights dimmed, and Ford’s models emerged, first wearing casual clothes like slouchy, satiny trousers, paired with billowing jackets or blazers with exaggerated shoulders. There were leather trenches in bright orange or brilliant white. Some of the trousers hung low enough to expose the wearer’s hip bones, under their clingy bodysuits.


Then the mood went from casual to glamorous; suddenly a parade of elegant gowns appeared, sheer and ruched, with bright sequins on the arms, for just enough bling.

“I always like to use a little something that catches the light,” Ford explained, “because they’re also red carpet dresses.” He also wanted to create a contrast between day and night.

“You know the way women dress today is very different. Day clothes as we knew them don’t exist anymore. Women wear jeans, a T-shirt, a great jacket... and as they go out to lunch or dinner, they pop on a pair of high heels.” His gowns, he said, were a different thing entirely — which is why he paused the music, lowered the light and then brought out supermodel Gigi Hadid in an elegant ruched gown in dusty rose, with long sequinned sleeves.

Ford said he was going for a ‘90s vibe, “for the kind of energy that my collections had at Gucci (then). And there are a lot of sort of ’90s things floating around in fashion right now. There’s another thing in fashion now which is ‘more is more is more is more’ ... but I wanted to have something slicker, sleeker, more streamlined. Really, just to capture the energy of that period.”

Ford is a busy man — aside from being a successful designer and now filmmaker, with the lauded 2016 Nocturnal Animals, he’s just launched a new fragrance.

Ford noted that there’s a lot of similarity between working in film and fashion. “Whether you’re designing a brand or a film... you have to have a vision, you have to have something to say,” he said. “The basic instincts that I’ve had in fashion for a long time also worked in film.”

Actor Liev Schreiber said he’d come to honour Ford as a friend, as well as a designer and a filmmaker.

“This is the first fashion show I’ve ever been to,” he confessed beforehand.

As for Kardashian West, it certainly wasn’t her first fashion show — but it was her first Ford show.

“I’m such a big fan of the brand,” she said. “I’ve worn him for so long. Such a fan since [his] Gucci days and beyond. So I’m really excited to see what this collection is going to look like.”