Saturday, 21 April 2012

Tom Ford at Vogue Festival

He is one of my favourite designers, his clothes encapsulate his magnetism and reflect his highly stylised vision of the world. Tom Ford woman is always powerful and elegant, the slightest detail reveals much thought and a visceral aesthetic intuition.

Tom Ford being interviewed by British Vogue editor, Alexandra Shulman

In person he brings to mind a gentleman from another time. I admire his integrity, it doesn't matter what others are doing or if many fall for fireworks, he creates wearable and timeless clothes.

This requires immense talent because there is a very fine balance between ordinary and extraordinary, particularly today when so much has been done by the incredible designers and legendary couturiers of the past.

"Good clothes really last forever. I want to create things that people can keep: the best fabric, the best shape, the best cut..." Tom Ford

You can wear a Madeleine Vionnet dress and still look amazing, Tom Ford mentioned Yves Saint Laurent and Halston, two visionaries whose clothes are definitely timeless. 

My fantastic haircut by Michael Pilz from Vidal Sassoon St Paul's

Tom Ford does things his own way, when catwalk shows are more and more available online and often live, he actually introduces his clothes on intimate gatherings for a selected few.

He assumed his tendency for perfectionism can reach insanity levels so much so that he chose to celebrate his 50th birthday in the middle of nowhere, where his mind could relax and not trying to design anything because 'nature is perfect in its imperfection.' 

I was impressed by his sense of humour, teasing British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman about her book Can We Still Be Friends? (published this month) and by his sense of contentment, admitting to be satisfied and happy to carry on doing what he does best, movies and designing collections.

A Single Man is a pleasure to watch, it's all about style and substance, capturing the essence of particularly profound moments in our lives when we ask ourselves the meaning of all this and go beyond the surface.

'Ask the models' panel

'Ask the models'

The Vogue Festival continued with models Eva Herzigova, Natalia Vodianova, Lily Cole and Jourdan Dunn, answering different questions about their careers and lifestyle.

Regarding modelling, they all agreed with the fact that it's really difficult to establish close relationships when you're always travelling. Other problems include being subject to ephemeral beauty aesthetics and constant criticism about the way they look.

Their diet was also a focal point and different viewpoints emerged, from genetics (some people are naturally thin) to western culture (as opposed to other areas of the world where beauty concepts are different) and a healthier lifestyle (models tend to eat more healthily and exercise regularly).

Natalia admitted doing the blood type diet for years, which respects your genetic background while Lily Cole emphasised self love and acceptance, recommending meditation as the way forward.

But they all came across as strong women breaking down preconceived ideas about models and beautiful women in general. 'I work really hard not just for myself but for the world' said Natalia, who has created the charity Naked Heart Foundation. She has suggested the book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.

Rachel Zoe and Vogue editor-at-large Fiona Golfar

'Is it all about the Red Carpet?'

Celebrity stylist and designer Rachel Zoe said the red carpet is the fantasy, seeing the woman behind the character looking beautiful. When working with her clients she takes pictures in different places and from every angle because often what looks amazing on the catwalk doesn't quite work in the red carpet.

William Banks-Blaney focused on vintage as a way of wearing something unique that has not been seen on a magazine or a blog, retaining its secretive nature and celebrating the timeless design and quality of past designers and couturiers as mentioned above.

Photographer Richard Young once had a phone call from Versace saying Elizabeth Hurley would be on the red carpet and for him to stand on the right side. It became an iconic image, she was looking incredible in the memorable Versace safety pin dress.  

Elizabeth Hurley and Hugh Grant
 Four Weddings and a Funeral premiere (1994)

For her first Golden Globes, British actress Joely Richardson chose a Matthew Williamson dress but stressed the strong divide between an image and real talent 'people with talent will always have jobs even if they don't dress well on the red carpet.'

But as Banks-Blaney said, the red carpet is 'the Cinderella moment' and we all love to see our favourite actresses looking like goddesses who have just descended from Olympus, couture is meant to be seen!

'Is it all about the Red carpet?' panel

Other related blogs
V&A Unveils Hollywood Glamour
Yves Saint Laurent: Life, Love and Art
Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston