Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tom Who?

Tom Ford left Gucci in 2004, which prompted much hand-wringing and moaning throughout the fashion world. I've honestly never been that big a fan of Ford's. I don't think he's a hack, like Elie Saab, and he's certainly a more talented designer than, say, me. (Or any number of other folks who actually are designers.) But I never quite got what all the foofaraw over him was about. Ford certainly does have a Vision, and it involves long skinny people with skin so sleek and shiny it looks like they're made of neoprene wearing long skinny clothes that are usually even sleeker and shinier. If all goes to plan, said long sleek people will at some point in the evening be indulging in some sort of vaguely de Sade-ian sexual activity, preferably in non-traditional gender and numerical combinations. Like this:

(Above photos are from a W magazine photo spread in 2005)

Don't get me wrong, I like a nice bum as much as the next gal, but jeez... all that self-conscious decadence just exhausts me. While it's all well & good to stride forcefully through life plotting stiletto-inflicted mayhem and wrongdoing,

(Go ahead, laugh. It's funny.)

most of us just want pretty clothes that make us look nice and that we can wear getting in & out of automobiles without pulling a Paris or a Britney. (No, no links to photos, absolutely not.) Enter Frida Giannini, who's been designing Gucci since the Spring 2006 collection. Maybe it's because Giannini is a real-life woman rather than a "Visionary," but the stuff at Gucci has gotten remarkably wearable over the last few seasons and I for one am loving it. It is still unmistakably Gucci, no doubt -- even the most ho-hum daywear has a glam element in that house -- but the last few shows have been chock-full of looks that made me want to buy Frida a cocktail. I was really taken with the latest Resort Collection. Theoretically, it sounds pretty goofy -- a rockabilly-themed resort collection with coral-print accents and lots of plaid. But honestly, it really works. It's a lot of black and white with brightly-colored accents, very graphic and bold, which is right up my alley, with a slightly retro feel. And incredibly wearable, I thought. Lots of shapes that are flattering to a wide variety of body types. Look at this beauty of a dress:

That is a really lovely thing that almost anyone would look great in. It gives you a waist, has a nice swingy skirt, and all that great vertical seaming/colorblocking creates lots of long lines. I, of course, would wear that with red patent shoes. But you already knew that.

Here's me with my leopard-print thing again, but dangit -- that's just cool!! Skinny pants are oh-so-difficult for the vast majority of the population, but this shirtdress is long enough to cover all the problem areas and still look terrifically hip. And I love the kick of color in those orange inserts at the bottom -- so unexpected and fun.

I can't even tell you how in love I am with this outfit. I don't have to explain why, do I? It's just divine.

And ditto this dress. Seriously, this would look great on just about anyone. Simple, easy, elegant.

I'm a sucker for a good coat and a graphic pattern, and this really punches my ticket. Look at those great sleeves, that add just enough femme to a very structured, tailored shape.

So. Damn. Cute.

Here's a shorter version of the coat, and if you're not waif-like enough to pull off those pants, it's also going to look great over jeans, or a black shift dress (or any color shift dress), or a good pencil skirt and blouse, or a nice a-line skirt, or... you get the idea. Fantastic jacket. So sorry, Tom, but I don't miss ya at Gucci. (And I really don't miss him at YSL, where Stefano Pilati is making my heart beat faster with every passing season.)

(It's hard for me to be nostalgic for this.)

Tom's keeping plenty busy -- he's done a makeup collection for Estée Lauder and has opened a swanky new men's store in New York, not to mention releasing about 974 fragrances under his own name, so don't you worry about him. He still has plenty of Vision left. And he's going to keep foisting it on us whether we want it or not.

Photos: Style.com

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dissed said...

Beautiful. Take that, Tom Ford. *bam* *OOF* *thud*

Anonymous said...

i love the little driving gloves in the gucci pics, and i want a pair! Wonder where i can find some that little and elegent...

Deb-ct said...

Oh, to be a fly on the wall during the meeting that was planning the 'buffing of the heiney' project???

Christian said...

Knocking Tom Ford? Yeah, only Tom uses tall skinny models, only Tom creates sexy clothes for women,only Tom uses sex to sell.
If you knock Tom Ford for those things, you have to knock most of the fashion industry. But there is one thing only Tom did, SAVE GUCCI.

Iheartfashion said...

Hahahahahaha...your take on Tom Ford made me laugh. That W photo shoot (and his Vanity Fair cover where he's nibbling a naked Keira Knightly's ear) was a bit over the top. I think Tom's got ego enough not to be shattered by your criticism though.

Greycat said...

While *some* of the current Gucci designs you showed are lovely, very reminiscent of "New Look" Dior, knocking Tom Ford is just plain *wrong*. Like someone else said, he pretty much saved the house of Gucci (much like KL did for Chanel), he made them ultra sexy, modern and sometimes a little too edgy, but still a brand that was much sought after, be it in shoes, bags or clothes.

Remember the Gucci before Tom? I do, it was horrible, all horse riding boots and bad boring loafers and the clothes...well, I don't remember the clothes at all.

After Tom, people were excited to see the new Gucci lines. They waited with baited breath. They LOVED the man. And then he left...

And this is the first time I've seen a collection from Gucci since. I rarely even see individual pieces from them in magazines. it's sad, because these clothes are lovely. But they are just that - lovely. Not much else.

Ragstyles said...

I love the model here, very Audrey Hepburn showing pieces that marry both the retro and the contemporary. Classic. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

i'm smitten...