Tom Ford has one of the classiest brands around, and his shows are usually grand affairs of timeless glamour—often with an expectation for the guests to present themselves the same. His supermodel-heavy shows and glossy air of cool have made a ticket to his event one of New York Fashion Week's most covetable, and while that energy remained in both the clothing and elite audience, the designer seemed to be embracing a bit of a different aesthetic for Spring 2020.
One could very much say it's a new era in fashion in many ways. Collections have officially entered a new decade as of this season. Several rising designers are making New York once again a hotbed of sartorial creativity after many of the city's brightest young stars left for Paris. And, making this an especially revolutionary time for Ford, this marks his first fashion week as the new chair of the CFDA, as well as re-entry into the calendar after previously showing the night before things officially began. So now is a better time than ever for the sleek designer to show off something new, and he did this by embracing a highbrow version of New York grit.
Most notably, Ford showed his collection in an abandoned subway platform at the Bowery station. Abandoning his beloved Park Avenue Armory in the favor of something at once fresh (for his brand) and all too familiar (for all the city's residents), he brought some of fashion and entertainment's most rich and famous into a dim, confined space where MTA employees were on the tracks and, visible through a window, passengers at the station's functional platform waited for J trains to stop by. For a strangely glamorous moment on Monday night, the subway went from being the hot, grimy avenue that some fashion people use to get around to shows and others avoid like the plague to the evening's most luxurious place to be.
Fittingly for his striking venue switch, Ford also embraced a reinvention of his modern glamour that felt right at home downtown. Rest assured, plenty of the designer's expert tailoring was still there, but also abundant in the collection were crop tops, baseball caps, and the '80s-inspired neon satin that seems to be absolutely everywhere this season. Suddenly the show's sunglasses, a pretty common occurrence in Ford's sleek world, went from having a fashion-editor-inside-an-event feel (we all know the one) to the icing on a cake flavored with SoHo society and the glam-rock decade of the designer's twenties.
For a designer whose moves at the CFDA so far have seemed to be in an effort to make it more democratic so it better aligns with what's happening in the industry, Ford's new collection was an apt and literal way to resonate with the city around him. And while many of those celebrities and editors are unlikely to head to an MTA platform again anytime soon, it seems certain that sartorially, this downtown vision of high-class cool will see a warm reception in the most elite circles.
See images from the collection below.