Ford farewells Published: 10.04.2010 | Author: one2012 | Category: Business

Tom Ford ended his triumphant 10-year reign at Gucci with his final show for the house in Milan on Wednesday , showing all the style that characterised his tenure there.

No big gestures or self-indulgent moments, just a regular FordGucci show, right down to the shiny black card invitation, the black carpet, the giant vase of blossoms in the foyer, the handsome chaps in black suits serving pre-show cocktails and the stunningly beautiful clothes.

The show was one of his best, with fitted hip-length jackets of intensely complex cut, with Elizabethan-style tucking and pleating and panels of dyed fur, worn with ultra-fitted pencil skirts and drainpipe pants, in a wonderfully rich palette of dark green, purple and aubergine.

But it was the evening wear that brought a bittersweet tear to the eye. A spring green sheath covered in sequins , and topped with fox furs in the same colour, summed up the sleekly sexy modern glamour that characterised Ford’s Gucci.

At the end, rose petals fell from the ceiling as the designer took his final applause. The only break with routine was when he paused along his victory lap to hug his long-term partner, L’Uomo Vogue editor Richard Buckley, sitting in his usual position in the front row.

It was an appropriately restrained bowing out, considering Ford is leaving because of a disagreement with the label’s owners. They wanted him to relinquish some of his creative hold on Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, which he designs for the Gucci Group.

This was non-negotiable for the Texan designer, who has based his success on creating a micro-managed world for his brands, controlling everything from store design to shopping bags, perfume bottles and advertising images.

It was exactly the opposite approach to the uncontrolled licensing chaos – with tacky Gucci umbrellas in every airport duty free – that nearly finished the house off in the 1980s. It revolutionised fashion branding, creating the luxury mega brand as we now understand it.

And it was this philosophy that made Ford’s Milan Gucci shows such keenly awaited events. As this one ended , the audience saluted Ford, knowing that whoever takes over – the whisper is of a faceless team – it will never be the same again.

Later, there was a farewell party in the show venue, but Ford did not seem to be there.

Rumour had it he and Buckley had already left for Los Angeles and pre-Oscars preparations.

Considering his intention is to abandon fashion for a movie career, it would make sense.

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