London Fashion Week: Tom Ford has the confidence of a player at the top of his game


Confidence isn’t something you can teach at fashion school. A designer either has the chutzpah to send out an astrakhan two-piece and an American football jersey smothered in sequins emblazoned with his name and birthdate. Or... well, or said designer’s name isn’t Tom Ford.

He may be showing in London but there is no mistaking Ford for anything other than a red-blooded American. It wasn’t just those football shirts, nor the needle-heeled crocodile and velvet cowboy boots that bottomed every look. Tom isn’t just American. He is a Texan, and this was a collection of pumped-out quarterback shoulders for every square-dancing Dallas hoofer with a few grand to splash.

Most importantly, Ford’s clothes were also supremely, sublimely confident. They didn’t have to try too hard, either in the silhouettes (eased-up, to the knee skirts and sweatshirt-simple jackets), nor the surfaces (black wool, leather and velvet, mostly – those riotous pailette quarterback shirts were isolated blitzes of glitz). There were even a few slinky, velvet throwbacks to Ford’s hits at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, paraded on late-Nineties early-Noughties supers like Karen Elson, Stella Tennant and a luminous Liberty Ross. It was great to see them, more so in these fantastic, relevant and gorgeous clothes. It was even more thrilling to see a talent like Ford playing at the top of his game.

Confidence can sometimes blind a designer to common sense. Christopher Bailey seemed utterly convinced of his paint-daubed Bloomsbury set, everything from shoe , to dress, to the ubiquitous trench scrawled with faux-naïf doodles in his Burberry Prorsum show. They resembled the work of a three-year-old, and indeed only a mother could love them. When he rinsed his georgette slips of the arty-farty stuff, they looked OK. But the mess was what stuck with you.

“Nylon, high-shine corduroy jacquard, lenticulars, mink, organza” was the litany of fabrics reeled off by Christopher Kane after his autumn/winter 2014 show, showing the almost precocious confidence he has in his abilities.

Christopher Kane’s latest collection embraced neon colours Christopher Kane’s latest collection embraced neon colours (Getty Images) There was an echo of that debut in Kane’s collection. Actually, there were quite a few. Most obvious were the lurid green bands and massive plastic buckle beefing up his freshly-minted handbags. Those details echoed that first ferocious collection of neon elastic frocks, but eight years later they strapped his clutches as accompaniment to slick, saleable black tailoring.

The show swiftly segued into the mélange of fabrics above: sick rather than slick combinations of ruched nylon and mink, ruffled neon cashmeres threaded with narrow satin ribbon.

The core was black, contrasted with sickly pastel pinks and that green you can only dub Exorcist vomit. It takes confidence just to propose those colours. Even more to leave your audience utterly convinced of their validity.

Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Arts and Entertainment
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
Life and Style
Dale Bolinger arranged to meet the girl via a fetish website
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
Life and Style
The Commonwealth flag flies outside Westminster Abbey in central London
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
Arts and Entertainment
tvWebsite will allow you to watch all 522 shows on-demand
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Community / Stakeholder Manager - Solar PV

    £50000 - £60000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

    C# .Net Developer

    £23000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: C# .Net Develop re...

    Electronics Design Engineer

    £35000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: My client are l...

    Senior BI Engineer (BI/MI, Data Mining)

    £60000 - £65000 per annum + Bonus & Benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior BI Enginee...

    Day In a Page

    Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

    The 'scroungers’ fight back

    The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
    Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

    Fireballs in space

    Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
    A Bible for billionaires

    A Bible for billionaires

    Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
    Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

    Paranoid parenting is on the rise

    And our children are suffering because of it
    For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

    Magna Carta Island goes on sale

    Yours for a cool £4m
    Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
    Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

    Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

    They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
    The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

    20 best days out for the summer holidays

    From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
    Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

    All the wood’s a stage

    Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
    Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

    Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

    Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
    Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

    Self-preservation society

    Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
    Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

    Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

    We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor