The Pointer Sisters' "Jump" playing blasting in the background; a row of disco balls lighting the dimly lit room; sequins and fringe ensembles swishing down the runway. Yes, Tom Ford's Fall/Winter 2020 runway show was quite the energetic rendezvous that gave attendees a crash course on laidback, carefree (and slightly glitzy) California style.
From the jump, it was clear the designer's show was going to think outside the Fashion Month box. For starters, it took place in Los Angeles — coinciding with the kick-off of NYFW, no less. Fittingly, the front row read like a who's who of Hollywood's creme de la creme, with Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez sandwiched between Renée Zellweger and Joe Alwyn and Kris Jenner plopped just seats away from Miley Cyrus and Rachel Zoe. (Although, considering the 92nd Annual Academy Awards are just days away, it's not entirely shocking to see such a crowd gathered in a Hollywood studio.) And as the room darkened and a booming remix of "I'm So Excited" signaled the first few models to glide out in asymmetrical embroidered midi skirts, oversized terry muscle tops, and oversized feather earrings, Ford's intentions for the ultimate West Coast party were solidified.
The Austin, Texas-born designer paid homage to the city he calls one of his homes (Ford splits his time between Los Angeles, Santa Fe, and London) by giving his traditional sleek, moody, and ultra-sexy aesthetic a Hollywood makeover. All manner of Cali-cool style was honored, including cozy sweatsuits, plush leopard coats, patchwork denim, and, of course, drawstring cargo pants. That said, the diverse and colorful collection still touched on the label's signature elements that have kept people coming back for more since 2005.
For instance, casual patchwork denim midi skirts were paired with cropped terry tops, luxe faux fur bomber jackets, and oversized two-toned feather earrings for an elevated take on the free-spirited Topanga-Mountain-dweller aesthetic. The Venice boardwalk was also honored via dramatic creamsicle-colored tie-dye ponchos worn over low-slung silver sweatpants and metallic platform sandals.
And one can't conjure images of California without passing through Hollywood. The glitz and glam of Sunset Boulevard was captured in the ultimate pièce de résistance moment, starring none other than Bella Hadid. In a dramatic flip of the lights and shift of the playlist, the model marked the second half of the presentation by strutting down the runway to the Fugees' music in a sheer metallic halter dress that featured a sexy cut-out bodice with black velvet ties at the neck and waist. After all, it wouldn't be a Tom Ford show without a little smolder.
Strategically sandwiched in the West Coast theme were some very blatant trends — both existing and reemerging. To start, Ford made a case for the continuation of monochrome dressing. The effortless skirt and sweatshirt combo was given a 2020 upgrade via matching vibrant color ways of pink, blue, and green and festive textures of sequins and velvet. It seems the all-color look everyone's been playing with over the past couple years isn't losing steam any time soon.
One trend that's seemingly coming back with vengeance is the low-rise pant. The early '00s fad that many were happy to see go with the coming of higher waistlines, is boomeranging to a closet near you. Ford tipped his hat to the nostalgic look via low-rise cargo pants and drawstring denim.
While surprising on many levels (including the location), Ford's latest collection did not disappoint in its ability to hit all the aspirational, glamorous qualities typical of the designer's signature aesthetic. And with the Oscars just around the bend, it's highly likely, you'll see a look or two go straight from the runway to the red carpet. That's Hollywood!