Tom Ford made the rather Business motivated decision to show in Los Angeles on the Day before the Oscars, When all of Hollywood's Top Stylists and Top Names would be thronging to that city in Anticipation of the Media Blitz (Circus) that is the Academy Awards. It was a Canny move, knowing full well he'd have the Eyes and Ears of all the Insiders who might just be choosing one of his Frocks from this or a Previous collection to garb one of the ladies that will stroll down that Camera glutted Red Carpet!
In the sense of the Finale of Ford's show, he had some Stunning Eye-Catching options to be sure that would evoke a 1970's Cher-like Sizzle. Ford though isn't a Confectionary designer, he doesn't create Evening alone collections like some people do. In the Day and Evening wear of the show, Ford tapped into a Rich Boho, Arts-and-Crafts DIY Patchwork vein that lent a very Berkeley, CA circa 1977 patina to the clothes. It could also have been seen to be more Southwest than West Coast, according to Ford, who curiously found reminders of his Youth in Santa Fe showing up in this offering.
Wherever it was Ford was Travelling, there was plenty of Neon hued Velvet and scads of Denim. This posed something of a problem to the collection, coupled with the Pesante/Renaissance style Empire tops with Ruffly peplums and cuffs the collection looked TOO Retro, Like Ford's woman had been rooting around in the Thrift shop. Throw in Macrame, Patchworking, Leopard/Ocelot prints, and Miles of Fringe, and we had ourselves a Caravan of Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves!
The upside of all of this, It was really interesting to see Ford working this kind of Vibe, His 70's touchstones usually are more of the Studio 54 Variety, so to see something this earthy was refreshing and for Ford, Daring. The downside being that it didn't feel Natural and it looked it. Ford seemed to be trying to adapt this Idee Fixe to his style of Fashion and the two did not seem to want to Coexist Harmoniously, so there was a Disconnection in where the clothes had that "Tom Ford" Slickness but now heavily sprinkled with this YSL/Betsey Johnson Rich Hippy overtone. It was a Valiant attempt but one that in the Biggest Picture, fell on the flatter side of Awkward,
All told, the collection didn't Fail so much as it didn't live up to the Greatness it could have been. Ford re-used so many Ideas in this collection that they lost impact quickly because we saw them so much or in parallel, They grew tiresome and worse, Garish, such as in the Denim Patchwork peplum top with the Patchwork Velvet evening skirt... (*Screeching of Brakes!*) and to my mind, Nothing ever tried to feel Modern. The whole Shebang looked like Little Girls going into their Eldest Aunt's Attic or Storage and Putting on a Catwalk show of the pieces that at that time the Aunt would have bought at Sears or K-Mart, Just Ratcheted up to the Nth degree in the most Lavish materials, Unfortunately, Expensive Materials have never once been the Saving Grace of a Collection!