Photography Mitchell Sams

tom ford showed glamorous sportswear in an abandoned subway station

The designer took guests into New York's underground for a show that asked what American fashion should be.

by Jack Sunnucks
10 September 2019, 4:16pm

Photography Mitchell Sams

Entering the stygian gloom of the disused Bowery subway stop, one wondered what Tom Ford might be about to say. Would it be a Journey to the center of the earth extravaganza, replete with lava rivers? A pondering on time passing, the archeology of New York, the many layers that make up the city? Instead, Ford turned to the more modern aspect of the subway and turned to sportswear and tailoring for his inspiration, mirroring the real lives of New Yorkers (some guests, including Miley Cyrus, were surely wondering what on earth they were doing there). “The shot of Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick coming out of a manhole cover in NYC in 1965 to start with. Manhole, underground, subway,” the designer said in his show notes. “That was the thought process here. Subway. So completely “New York”. Or is it?”

Against a lilac lit backdrop, Mr Ford’s favorite models marched out, to the sounds of loud encouragement from Stephen Galloway, the legendary photographer responsible for the movement on many Inez and Vinoodh shoots. They twirled, they stuck out a hip, they channeled the supers of the designer’s yesteryear. When else do you have the chance to climb deep within both New York and a designer’s memories? Ford’s knowledge of, and friendship with, a host of incredible women is well documented, and he mentioned a trio of French women — Betty Catroux, Loulou de la Falaise, and his stylist Carine Roitfeld as an inspiration. The clothes, however, were distinctly about the here and now, with Ford citing running shorts, “Photographs of tee shirts in every iteration,” and motorcycle jackets for his slick sportswear.

The finale featured incredibly chrome breastplates inspired by Yves Saint Laurent’s version, mixed with Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog sculptures, that shone slickly in the subterranean light. What remained, however, was the impression that Ford is a master of easy to wear garments and making his men and women look comfortable, no matter how high the heels with their joggers. “I think that it is a time for ease, and in that way a return to the kind of luxurious sportswear that America has become known for all over the world,” Ford wrote. We too look forward to an America best known for its luxurious sportswear.

Tom Ford