If it was acceptable in the Eighties, it’s a must for 2018. At least in the world according to Tom Ford, who raised the curtain on New York Fashion Week last night with a show which put fashion’s flashiest decade in the spotlight.
Enlisting Cindy Crawford’s doppelgänger daughter Kaia Gerber to join his all-star cast of models, Ford’s homage to the era featured a roll call of rhinestone-encrusted bomber jackets, double breasted power suits and slogan handbags proclaiming Pussy Power.
There were chubby fur coats spliced through with puffer jacket patchwork, sequinned sweatshirts and more spray-on-tight leggings than the cast of Fame.
Jumpsuits featured cut-outs which exposed the entire back, while micro-mini hemlines were high on the agenda with flouncy ra-ra skirts trimmed with feathers or teamed with coloured leopard print tights. Shoulder-grazing crystal hoop earrings, zebra-print embellished kitten heels and leather headbands brought the final throwback flourishes.
Having made his mark in Hollywood – the designer directed Academy Award-nominated films Nocturnal Animals and A Single Man – Ford is more au fait than most when it comes to A-list connections. Previously, the designer has opted to stage his star-studded fashion shows ahead of the Oscars in Los Angeles, where he recently relocated with his husband Richard Buckley and their five-year-old son after two decades living in London.
But with his latest collection, unveiled just 48 hours after his debut menswear show in New York, it appears Ford has his sights set on the next celebrity generation too with social media savvy stars Hailey Baldwin, Zayn Malik and Anwar Hadid taking their seats on the front row alongside long-time fans Julianne Moore and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
Of course, Ford’s instinctive flair for commercial success has long been his gift. Before launching his eponymous label in 2006, Ford was responsible for Gucci’s mid-Nineties resurrection, turning the brand from the brink of bankruptcy into a global superforce during his 15-year tenure, before working the same money-making magic on Yves Saint Laurent. His own label – now close to a $2 billion business – is definitive proof that he knows precisely what his customers want and how to deliver it. Even when it’s in the shape of a pair of leggings.