Tom Ford haunts my dreams

In Designers on June 9, 2013 at 10:10 pm


It won’t be news to anyone who ever read my newspaper reports from the European fashion shows, to hear I’m absolutely mad about Tom Ford. I love, admire, respect and generally adore him. He’s one of my all-time heroes.

Going to his Gucci – and then Yves Saint Laurent – fashion shows in Milan and Paris was always a highlight of the bi-annual fashion show season for me. Every tiny detail was always perfect and there was a consistency to them. Always the same venue, the same invitations, the same cocktails and even the same flowers.

The shows varied, of course, although I generally loved them and then the great treat at the end, when he would come out, immaculate, gorgeous, the white shirt always open one button too many. I don’t normally have impure thoughts about gay men – out of respect for their preferences – but Tom gives the impression he wants to be fancied, so I’m willing to go along with it.

Then a couple of days later, I’d go to the showroom to look at the collection up close and be blown away by the quality of the materials and the exquisite details. I remember a navy cashmere coat of the most impeccable cut that had pockets lined with kid leather. The feeling of putting your hand in was delectable. It was one of those few moments in my life when I’ve wished I was stupidly rich, so I could have a coat with kid leather pocket linings.


Anyway, last night I couldn’t sleep (it’s mid-summer in the UK and it starts to get light again at 4am…) so I decided to watch some telly. To my great joy I was just in time to watch this brilliant documentary about Tom Ford, which I didn’t even know about.

It’s great. He’s so candid, so intelligent and – as I always thought he would be – so funny. It also has footage of his first women’s wear show under his own name after leaving Gucci, which is thrilling. He has so many of my favourite women modelling: Beyoncé, Julianne Moore and the wonderful Lauren Hutton, to name a few.

One word of warning: the sound and vision are not in synch on this Youtube version for some reason, so I hope that won’t put you off too much.

One thing I really loved in this docco was hearing him talk about A Single Man, which is one of my all-time favourite films. He’s completely honest about how he took liberties with Christopher Ishwerwood’s novella and the Colin Firth character is really him, recovering from the shock of leaving Gucci. The two dogs in it are his dogs.

Some people dismissed the film as looking like a two hour Gucci ad. Why is that a problem exactly? It’s one of the most beautiful films ever, the costumes and the interiors are so perfect. Do you remember the scene in the bank? Everything grey and this one little girl in a bright blue dress. And the hustler standing against the bright pink LA pollution sun set. Ravishing. But I also find it profoundly moving. And funny.

Here’s a clip of one of my favourite scenes from it.

Oh, I can’t resist it. Here’s the bit where Julianne Moore is chatting to Colin Firth on the phone and doing her 60s eye make make up.

And if, like me, you can always take a little bit more of Tom, here’s a link to a great interview with him. It’s pretty much what he says in the documentary, but interesting to see it written down, as you can consider it more.

  1. Never saw the film, but the clips don’t make me want to see it, even though I love Julianne Moore. Didn’t he and his partner just have a baby?

  2. Adore, adore Tom Ford.

  3. Yes! A Single Man! Brilliant film. That scene after he receives the phone
    call with the devastating news is one of the finest pieces of acting I have ever seen.

  4. Great post Maggie….I thought I’d take a quick peek but still in my dressing gown at 9.05…couldn’t stop watching the delicious TF. Fab/fab/fabulous ! x

  5. Hi Maggie,
    Pls don’t send such great posts to read early Perth time so i am late fro work!!!!

  6. Oohh errr, he always did make my heart flutter. Even though I am so not his type – he does invite worship, though. Nothing like a man who could think to line cashmere coat pockets with kid leather.

    Thanks for the lovely reminder.

    For some strange reason I have never watched A Single Man. I think I will pay a visit to the DVD shop this afternoon.

    And, for something completely different…this morning the violets are poking out their little heads and Dolly the horse is lying in the front paddock with Spotty the sheep. All is right in my world…

  7. I loved A Single Man. My favourite part of the movie was at the beginning where he patted a stranger’s dog which looked like his old dog, then he snuggled up to the dog’s forehead and took in the dog’s scent – this made me cry, just a subtle little detail and something that all of us who have lost a pet will appreciate. I hope he is going to make more movies. Not all of us like movies full of car chases you know! Yes, I remember the beautiful pink smoggy shots of LA, slow, atmospheric and moving. More movies please Mr Ford.

    • Remember that moment too. The whole film is full of them, really subtle little vignettes. I don’t think he got nearly enough credit for it. And he wrote the bloody script!

  8. Oh yes A SINGLE MAN was perfect every shot and the amazing & JAM doing the makeup – truly fab (of course some say the movie was far toooo perfect (I couldn’t disagree more; I adored it). I would be proud as punch if my work was interpreted as such – sure Isherwood ditto. Looking forward to seeing the TF doco sure its great – he is tops.
    SO glad for you that Spring is finally hitting your part of the world – its been a long winter hasn’t it. ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY. BX

  9. A Single Man was awesome. And choosing Colin Firth and Julianne Moore as his lead actors?–total genius.

    There’s no such thing as too perfect when it comes to Virgos–you know the fashion world is disproportionately full of them, right?
    As a Virgo myself, I can relate.

    And here’s a few posts on Mr Ford, by the only astrologer worth her salt, the Australian Mystic Medusa:

    She’s also a Maggie reader, which other Editor of Australian Vogue could she be referencing here?

    • How fascinating – I have four planets in Virgo myself! I was never editor of Aussie Vogue (although I have been a regular contributor) but it was me who said leopard print is a neutral, so it’s nice to know that stuck in her head. I was always amused by the Virgo control so apparent at all those Gucci shows. Clean lines and nothing left to chance. And I also loved the bit in the docco where he says he has five baths a day!!! If he’s stressed, he goes and has a bath. So Mystic Medusa is on it with the Ultimate Virgo.

    • Hey! I am a Virgo too and a couturiere – rushing to Mystic’s link now – many thanks for that (a client of mine refers to Virgo as the sign of the dressmaker – attention to detail, patience and joy derived from making beautiful things for others). BX

    • I had to copy and paste its so good just to make sure everyone gets to see it incase they don’t go to the link, MANY THANKS :-
      “Chief Virgoan Of Fashion has told Another Magazine his Five Supreme Rules Of Style, Fashion, Etiquette etc. Adhering to their own personal guidelines of chic is just one of several reasons why Virgoans dominate the fashion world these days. Standards, obsessive-compulsive disorder and details mania. Works a treat.

      1. You should put on the best version of yourself when you go out in the world because that is a show of respect to the other people around you.

      2. A gentleman today has to work. People who do not work are so boring and are usually bored. You have to be passionate, you have to be engaged and you have to be contributing to the world.

      3. Manners are very important and actually knowing when things are appropriate. I always open doors for women, I carry their coat, I make sure that they’re walking on the inside of the street. Stand up when people arrive at and leave the dinner table.

      4. Don’t be pretentious or racist or sexist or judge people by their background.

      5. A man should never wear shorts in the city. Flip-flops and shorts in the city are never appropriate. Shorts should only be worn on the tennis court or on the beach.”

      TOM I LOVE YOU!!!!! B

  10. Oh Maggie, how do you always describe what I feel so eloquently? You are a genius, with impeccable taste.

  11. I feel so simultaneously annoyed at myself (for never having seen the film – but now I will!), and yet strangely smug (for being a Virgo!)…..
    Was introduced to Tom Ford by my 21 year old son who recently splurged a sizeable chunk of his uni grant on Tom Ford skincare and aftershave….I think the sales assistant was impressed – although I wasn’t! But hey – TF’s not a bad role model. One cool guy!


  12. Thank you for that. For some reason I not getting emails of the articles that go in the M magazine in the Sunday Age. Is it possible to get these emailed?

    Diane Sorensen
    Office Administrator
    hockingstuart Glen Waverley 8 Kingsway Glen Waverley 3150
    E P (03) 9886 6900 F (03) 9886 6933

    Are you happy with my service? My manager would love to know: | Please consider the environment before you print


  13. Hi Maggie, reading this reminded me of why I ave been a devoted MA reader for years…. You have the gift!…. Just sayin’ x

  14. Dear Maggie, FOUR planets in Virgo – that’s why you do the wardrobe thing so well (and the character in your book who got paid to go to others and help them declutter … all making sense now). I have Gemini ascendent and moon in cancer but no other planets in V – probably makes you more V than I am. We LOVE Tom. BX

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