LONDON — Now in his fourth season doing women’s wear, Tom Ford said he decided to focus less on dressing individual women, and deliver a firm point of view on “what I love this season.” The 25 looks he paraded in his London showroom on a raft of top girls found the designer back on familiar turf — tough chic — with the luxury meter cranked way up. (As in previous seasons, press was not allowed to photograph the collection.) “Another Russian spy,” Ford deadpanned, as a model entered on pin heels, a crocodile bra peeking out from her slim jersey tube dress. Black leather, glossy satin and crocodile scales painstakingly embroidered on silk jersey heightened the danger-laced, sexy Bond girl mood. Demonstrative gold wrestling belts were a wink back to his Gucci heyday, as were the pencil skirts, the jersey dresses snaked with heavy zippers and statement-making outerwear. Puffer jackets and capes came in glossy beaver fur, hairy alpaca coats in look-at-me shades of tomato red or taxi yellow. Ford said he answered a call from customers to deliver men’s tailoring — he did so with strong Joan Crawford shoulders and substantial padding at the hips.

This story first appeared in the February 21, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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