Tom Ford recently succeeded Diane von Furstenberg as president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), making him the man who gets to determine the shape of New York fashion weeks to come. His verdict? It’s all going underground.
For Ford’s spring-summer 2020 show on Monday night, the designer invited showgoers -- including Miley Cyrus, Ansel Elgort and Joan Smalls -- to a decommissioned Bowery Street subway station. The platform doubled as a runway, where models Gigi Hadid and Kaia Gerber sported spiky, Blade Runner-esque hairstyles and Ford’s slick collection.
In his show notes, Ford said he drew inspiration from a 1965 image of Andy Warhol and muse Edie Sedgwick emerging from a manhole cover. The setting, if at odds with Ford’s signature uptown gloss and glamour, showed that the city was centre of mind.
If last season was about special wardrobe pieces, then this show felt more like a trove of clothes to go wild on the town in and then fling off before dawn. Metallic bra-tops and breast plates seemed sleek rather than robot-ridiculous, and a sea-blue silk jersey gown somehow came across as streetwise.
Satin is everywhere for next season, popping up here in Ford’s neutral sand tones, as well as in red or shocking-pink single-breasted blazers and one fiery red bubble coat. Also in the mix were sleek jersey separates, featuring fitted flares beneath a cut-out top and bikini bra. A fun look showed satin boxer shorts and t-shirts -- all in black, of course.
“This season for me is about simplicity,” Ford added in his notes. “Which is not to be confused with simple. I think that it is a time for ease, and in that way a return to the kind of luxurious sportswear that America has become known for all over the world.”
For the boys on the runway, the looks steered pretty closely to a James Dean silhouette with greased-back, 1950s waves and leather jacket looks. Street punks these guys were not, in satin zebra-print tuxes over silk slacks or pale, chewing gum-colored bombers and matching trousers. These were clothes that looked good on models, sure, which might not be enough to translate to real life... but sometimes, isn’t that what fashion is supposed to be about?