The name Tom Ford is already synonymous with the highest of high-end luxury wares but it’s starting to become tethered to something else: doing things on your own terms. After all, that’s what Ford’s done his entire career, first when he revitalized Gucci in the late ’90s (paving the way for Alessandro Michele to do so again nearly twenty years later), then starting his namesake label with just menswear and beauty categories, and eventually writing, directing, and producing two critically-acclaimed films. So when Ford felt like the fashion calendar no longer made sense to him or his customers, he just opted out of it. Instead, the exacting designer switched to a see-now, buy-now model that kicked off last September and continues today with the unveiling of the brand’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection that’s already up for grabs.
The lineup is signature Ford, which is to say all-purpose menswear made from top quality materials and cut slim, but not fashion boy skinny (i.e. these are meant to be worn by real [and really rich] men). The collection is distinctly anti-maximalist, which is to say going against the more-is-more tide that menswear brands, and the fashion world at large, seems to be championing right now. Instead, Ford seems to be focusing on the types of garments a guy will invest in and wear for the long haul, not just six months: a leather cafe racer jacket, a gray peak lapel suit, chunky rib v-neck sweaters, the perfect ivory dinner jacket. It may not sound groundbreaking in concept (after all, isn’t that what good designers should always be doing?) but it’s an approach that isn’t executed as often as you think, both by high-end houses like Ford’s and everyman mall brands. The big color story here is that that isn’t one, with Ford dialing back the bright, near-fluorescent hues from Spring/Summer seasons past to a softer palette grounded in essential black, tonal grays and ivory with pops of saturated blues and browns. It’s a quietly confident collection sure to find its way into many style-minded men’s wardrobes and delivered to the world in the most Ford way possible: the way the designer wanted it.
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