For autumn/winter 2021, Tom Ford looked to a sense of post-lockdown freedom with Edie Sedgwick playing muse to the collection. Here, Vogue’s fashion critic Anders Christian Madsen breaks down five key things to know about the digital showcase.
The collection was made for re-emergence
When Tom Ford realised his collection would coincide with our re-emergence from lockdown this autumn, he went all out on eveningwear: “a contrast to the simplicity of the pullover sweatshirts that we have been living in for the past year,” as he wrote in self-penned notes released alongside his look book. Down the line, imbuing daywear with the decoration of those pieces felt a little more realistic. And so, Ford transformed his confections into an everyday wardrobe—at least a very bold one—expressing both our desire for exuberance and the hesitance that will no doubt underpin it, if, indeed, we are released from our hidings this autumn.
It was “the shortest of short”
Next to bleached jeans, Ford’s proposal for the emergent wardrobe was decidedly skimpy. “I love short skirts. I always have,” he admitted. “Being a child in the ’60s did that to me, I think. This season, I like the shortest of short.” That wouldn’t be a far cry from the cheekier benefits to Zoom dressing, and Ford’s slip dresses, hot pants, and mini-skirts did have a liberating sensibility about them. Fused with sportswear influences—and styled with the magnified volumes of outerwear on top—the silhouette felt bold and upbeat; a little courage for a brave new world. The season is about “strength, power and reclaiming our lives,” Ford noted.
Ford offered an alternative to the scanty hemline
Recognising that the scanty silhouette might not be everyone’s first choice for a back-to-the-office uniform, Ford offered an alternative. “This looks very cool if you are comfortable with your body and have the right under-pieces—but for most, a pair of tights or skin-tight pants would give the same look while keeping things clean, sleek and real.” To the designer, the concept was also nostalgic. Likening the idea to Edie Sedgwick, who played muse to the collection, he said childhood memories of “a women’s underwear ad where a woman wearing nothing but her underwear and a coat goes out on the town” had inspired him to make cashmere underwear made for going out in.
The menswear welcomed back the suit
“After a year of often sitting on Zoom calls without being fully dressed or while wearing the same dirty jeans and T-shirt, I am ready to put on a suit again,” Ford wrote, heralding a suit-centric menswear collection that felt like a highly glossed, highly glam antithesis to lockdown. “Suits can be an armour, but they can also make daily activities seem like an event.” Ford speckled his tailored looks with memories of the lockdown wardrobe such as louche dressing gowns and puffer coats that perhaps evoked the cosy protection of the comfort-wear we’ve grown used to. “I feel like this mix of casual and dressed pieces will be a legacy of the pandemic,” he said.
Ford had three motivational words for autumn
“Fierce, powerful, and badass are words that resonate with me this season,” Ford wrote. “I mean, who doesn’t want to be badass? Especially after being trapped for a year.”
This article was originally published on British Vogue