Tom Ford autumn/winter 2016 collection catwalk show for NYFWNew York Fashion Week SS17
For a designer whose NYFW show drew heavily on a 1970s aesthetic, Tom Ford’s latest collection should be hailed as refreshingly forward thinking. The clothes, as is typical of Ford, used timeless silhouettes and a dark, sophisticated palette; the format of his show however, and what it said to the fashion industry, was striking.
In many ways, this is unsurprising. Ford has a reputation of rocking the boat in an industry that is notoriously hierarchical and structured. His SS16 show was conducted on an entirely virtual format, presented via a Nick Knight-directed video featuring Lady Gaga and his present show at NYFW came at a time the designer was also promoting Nocturnal Animals, his Silver Lion award-winning film straight from the Venice Film Festival (read our review here).
It was nonetheless an unusual move to see Ford showcase both menswear and womenswear as part of the same show. In so doing, Ford created a fluidity across both collections. His message to the fashion world was that his vision for AW16 is a coherent and robust one – elegance and simplicity – that does not need to be divided across gender lines.
Perhaps most significantly for a Fashion Week that normally sees collections displayed months in advance of their availability in stores, Ford is one of several designers subscribing to the so-called “see it now, buy it now” format this NYFW. Under this approach, collections are shown for the upcoming calendar season and so are available for almost immediate purchase.
Ford’s womenswear and menswear collections therefore targeted the AW16 consumer, featuring an abundance of mid-length furs, roll neck sweaters and structured full length dresses amongst the lightweight fabrics and off-whites of the SS17 shows. Mixed textures and fabrics were in generous supply – animal print skirts paired with sequinned tops or fur-edged floor-length coats – as were metallics, both in the pieces themselves and any accompanying accessories.
Ford has emphasised across 2016 that his approach to showcasing collections has changed in response to a change in how designers communicate with consumers. We wait with anticipation on how this will manifest itself in his next season.