Tom Ford debuts Fall 2022 collections weeks after NYFW ends
When Tom Ford canceled his Fall/Winter 2022 runway collection, it was a significant blow to the already struggling NYFW Fall/Winter 2022 line-up.
Several designer star names were noticeably absent from the season—Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta, Pyer Moss, The Row, and even buzzy Christopher John Rogers were among the power brands that sat out the season.
Thus, Ford's withdrawal was felt particularly hard. Citing the Omicron variant wave in Los Angeles and Italian factory delays the virus circulating caused, rendering that the collection would not be ready in time for the initially planned date of February 16.
Yet, it still felt like a non-event even as the event was teased on social media the day before and confirmation of its release came over email just after 9 AM EST.
With no inspiration or context given, one wondered if it was a digital silent release à la Giorgio Armani's sans music runway in Milan to support the Ukrainian people invaded by Russia's war machine. Or was it Ford's penchant for staying mute when the mood struck him?
The men's and women's collections were about monochromatic color, even if it was sometimes grounded in black as in the women's case. In this use, the pop of color – mainly jewel tones of scarlet, raspberry, violet, royal blue, teal, and Kelly green accentuated the look like a design punctuation mark.
The men's palette was similar, though he grounded the color with a rich chocolate brown, dark olive, midnight blue, and burgundy versus black. Looks in stone and white, a palette cleanser to somber the intense hues gave color reprieve.
The color built upon the direction Ford laid for Spring 2022, where he referenced his early collections for both Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, and the propensity for color those collections had. It also doesn't hurt that color works well on social media, a point that Ford made in the spring collection release. That season, he also paid homage to that famous red velvet suit donned by Gwyneth Paltrow on the red carpet at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards. For Fall 2022, that silhouette informed both the men's and women's looks.
His sporty direction was continued most evidently in the hoods, whether as satin blouse hoodies alone or under a tailored jacket or as a detachable puffy nylon hood on a red velvet blazer. Tailored slacks he calls joggers, and nylon puffer styles reinforce the idea that no one dresses up anymore, a sentiment he expressed in the past. But when they do chez Ford, it's in marabou feather jackets, thigh-high slit skirts, and dramatic raspberry outerwear such as a faux-fur bomber or floor-length velvet trench coat.
His men's colors tended to be tonal layered looks or skewed towards a pop of color here and there—a turtleneck or socks, for instance— save for some silk blend, down-filled shell coat looks in red and light teal. Perfect for his red-carpet buddies, were shiny jacquard and zebra-print devoré velvet tuxedos, guaranteed to be worn again in the coming weeks of awards season.
All of the men's looks and almost every women's look were paired with signature Tom Ford-cool sunglasses, reiterating the color message in the women's styles. The show teaser depicted a pair of stocking-clad legs wearing a wedge sandal of the same hue, which was modeled after a style Ford did for YSL circa 2004; styles that fetch as much on resale as this new iteration will.
In between the legs was a black velvet and sheer evening gown revealing just enough to leave the rest to one's imagination. A bit like this collection of stellar, exquisitely constructed, and sexy merchandise that Ford declined to introduce— its provocativeness is all you need to know.
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