Yves Saint Laurent: The party’s over, and what a swell 10-year frolic it’s been. Aspiring director Tom Ford scripted the last call brilliantly, ending on a prolonged high note that spanned two countries and rocked fashion.
After turning out a fabulous Gucci collection in Milan, did Ford have another one in him? The answer, it turns out, was absolutely. He said last week that he had taken a very different approach to Saint Laurent than to Gucci. He considered Saint Laurent not as a final show, “but as a continuation of what I’ve been working on,” addressing famous Saint Laurent themes he hadn’t tackled.
Among them: Chinoiserie, worked to subtle perfection. Not subtle of course, in the sizzling sensuality of Ford’s skintight jacket-and-skirt silhouette, nor in the opulence of his coats, nor the head-spinning extravagance of his evening wear. Subtle, instead, in his handling of a theme that could have gone costumey in a snap. Guests arriving at the Rodin Museum could find clues in the wash of red light that illuminated the grounds, the Chinese lanterns decorating the show space foyer and, yes, the red carpet that covered the runway and on which Ford would take his final bow. Backstage, the models wore bright red terrycloth robes for hair and makeup, the color matching the upbeat mood as music played, champagne flowed and Ford honored requests to pose for snapshots. Not long before eight o’clock, the show’s scheduled start time, Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love” came over the sound system. Ford went up to his friend and show producer Kevin Krier and asked, “What do you think of me coming out [on the runway] to this song? You know, crazy?”
Before that bow, Ford would send out an audacious display of slick, sexy, commercial fashion in a lineup as finely honed and focused as could be — so focused, in fact, that some in the audience found it too limited, a criticism the designer has fielded from the start. His look for day featured a small jacket with strong, sometimes pagoda shoulders tapering to a tiny, peplumed waist over a reed-thin skirt, often in satin panels appliquéd onto sheer silk. That in a nutshell, was it, distinction delivered in the cut of the collar, the closure, the sleeve. And in the color, as Ford showed glorious combinations of jade with teal and deep wine with pink or berry.For evening, he gave a chic nod to le smoking, and then took cheongsam exotica modern and mainstream in a delicate black cocktail dress and an all-out glamorama of printed silks and extravagant spills of sequins in detailed Chinese motifs.
After the last model disappeared from view, Beyoncé’s anthem blared from the sound system and Ford made his appearance dressed in a red velvet tuxedo jacket. He walked to where Domenico De Sole sat, pulling him to his feet so that they could say goodbye just as they’ve spent the last 10 years — together. Thanks, guys. It’s been crazy.
Read WWD's exclusive interview with Tom Ford...Click here
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