Fashion / Style

Celebrity Crowd Enjoys Tom Ford’s Kissing Booth at Fashion Week: Mischievous Designer Pulls Off a Sophisticated, Sexy Runway Show — and Henry Golding (and Others) Can’t Get Enough

BY // 09.07.18

NEW YORK — Tom Ford got a head start on New York Fashion Week with a subtle yet sexy runway show that ended with a wild party where the mischievous designer played a game of kiss and tell.

Ford took over the spacious Park Avenue Armory on Wednesday, the night before the official start of fashion week, with a collection that combined monocromatic styles for men and women. Afterwards, he opened up a cavernous space for a party highlighting his Boys & Girls lipstick and beauty products, with large screens highlighting meetings of “Lipsticks Anonymous” and one showing the designer locked in a passionate kiss with Australian comedienne Celeste Barber.

Facing some criticism for his fall ’80s-themed women’s collection featuring skin-tight leggings, sequined animal print jackets and flashy neon colors, Ford returned to a more polished look, with body-hugging pencil skirts, often with a lace overlay, gowns dripping in fringe, faux crocodile leather jackets, leopard print corsets, gathered trench coats, and crisp tuxedos (one with pink lapels, another with one sleeve missing).

“I always begin each collection as a reaction to the previous season,”  Ford said in his program notes. ” I feel that fashion has somehow lost its way a bit and it is easy for all of us to be swept up in trends that have lost touch with what women and men want to actually wear.

“So I did not want to make clothes that were ironic, or clever but simply clothes that were beautiful.”

Even the colors  in the collection are a bit subdued, with black, white, and shades of mauve and taupe predominating.

“Given the harshness of the world, a softer color palette seemed right to me this season,” he said. “Shades of nude and skin tones look especially beautiful to me right now.

“And of course black is always a color that I love working with. Black frames the face of the wearer and emphasizes a silhouette like no other color can. There is a kind of security in black.”

Ford was apparently also inspired by Babylon Berlin, the Netflix series set during the waning years of the Weimar Republic in the late 1920s before the Nazis came to power in Germany, with some dark, edgy styles contrasting leather and lace. The show’s theme song played during the runway show, along with Lady Gaga’s cover of the 1978 disco hit “I Want Your Love” by Nile Rodgers & Chic, and  “Two Men In Love” by The Irrepressibles.

Most womenswear looks were accessorized with contrasting doo rag headscarves and Mary Jane pumps with edgy metal toe caps and heels.

Styles for men were a bit shinier, with metallic jacquard tuxedo jackets and suits in copper and light purple shades.

The celebrity-studded crowd appeared to enjoy the show — the power front row included Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Cardi B, Anna Wintour, and Crazy Rich Asians heartthrob Henry Golding, looking movie-star dashing in a white dinner jacket, black tuxedo pants and tux tie — and a number of them hung around afterwards at Tom Ford’s afterparty, where the “it girl” DJs, identical twins Simi and Haze Khadra, spun tunes, hunky waiters served bite-size burgers from black lacquered trays, and attendees took turns having their photos taken in a kissing booth.

Part of the Special Series:

PaperCity - On the Runway Spring 2019

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