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.