Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pow! Boom! Wow!: Tom Ford F/W 2013

Deanne reviews...

          They’re not kidding when they say that speed is the ultimate characteristic of the 21st century. Everything is fast! Instant! Now! And in the realm of art, fashion is its number one victim. Believe it or not: fashion month is just a mere DAY away. I’m a thousand miles away from where the mayhem transpires yet I can feel my own heart palpitating at the thought of it all. 

Designers are set to reveal their spring/summer 2014 collections. It’s quite appalling if you think about it: a spring/summer mindset during the beginning of the fall months. Already the fall/winter collections are losing their luster and we’ve barely scratched the surface of the season. In an attempt to practice my “Be present in the moment” mantra, looking through the current store offerings has never felt so liberating and rebellious at the same time. Before the spring trends come driving into us at full force, let’s give the f/w 2013 collections their last minutes of fame.

A month ago, I commented on how minimalism was the trend of the season. Come to think of it, it’s the trend of the decade. This popular aesthetic finds its roots in the 90s when practicality was favored over creativity. From a designer’s point of view, it might sound like the death of fashion but isn’t this a business as well? So yes, give the people what they want. But amidst the clean, restrained, pure lines were fireworks! Patchwork! Leopard print! Boom, boom, boom!

Welcome to Tom Ford fall/winter 2013! 
(Yes, exclamation points are necessary!)

         “Cross-cultural, multi-ethnic,” he describes it to be. We don’t know if he had any specific cultures or subgroups in mind but boy did he use every fabric, embellishment, print, and texture possibly conceivable. He made his point right from the beginning. Look 1 featured Liya Kebede in a fantastically sequined skirt sandwiched by a black-and-white embroidered poncho and boots. An homage to Aztecs, perhaps?

And then it only got crazier with dark romance duly expressed in floral patterns submerged in deep, jewel tones. Then came the animal prints in overbearing quantity such as the oversize coat Liu Wen had on to top off her lacey dress. I can just keep on going… starburst-sequined details, black velvet dresses, checkered boots, neon gowns, massive fur linings, and even fringe ponchos. Clearly, sober wasn’t in the dictionary this season. What was Ford thinking? Against the current, that’s for sure.

           It would be no surprise if this collection turned divisive - impractical for the working women, a gift sent from above for the fashion peacocks – but if it speaks loudly (sorry for the pun) of his aesthetic, then Ford is happy. After all, he was always known for decadence and exuberance – ahem, ahem, Gucci.

           Minimalist lovers like me may not follow the styling direction this collection took but if taken piece-by-piece, options abound. A sequined skirt may be paired with an immaculate white blouse; the bright pink fur jacket can be worn with a little black dress. A pop of color and detail certainly doesn’t hurt. But if there’s one piece I can wear from head to toe it would be the starburst gown appropriately modeled by Herieth Paul. Just look at that jumpy hue set against the ebony skin!

         In every fashion month, we can always expect a game changer, someone who sets his eyes on aesthetic expression rather than trend direction. And it is these designers who offer us a fresh take on what is really in and what is really out. Lucky you who can get a hand on Ford’s f/w 2013 smashing collection. I’ll probably just sit back and scroll through the spring/summer 2014 collections which start- gasp! – tomorrow. While fashion editors all over the world totter in their heels from one showroom to the next, I’ll be having the greatest dilemma of having too many Google Chrome browsers on my desktop.

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