Tom Ford Fall ’21 Is All About Power Dressing ‘Like A Badass’

by Freya Drohan

After rescheduling his collection reveal date due to a COVID outbreak at his L.A. atelier, Tom Ford proved that the best things in life are worth the wait. And though it feels like we’ve already waited long enough to wear the types of daring clothes included in his Fall Winter ’21 offering, what’s another few months before we can get our hands on his wares and “reclaim our lives” in the process.

That’s exactly what Ford had on the brain—as well as strength, power, and a return to the extravagant wardrobe staples of yore. But, the legendary designer is mindful that times have irrevocably changed, and so while he endeavored to go full glam, he reworked the idea of “evening, couture-like pieces” into more wearable jackets and tops, pairing them with bleached, cut-off jeans, slinky slip dresses, and other pieces that reflect our leaning towards casual, polished comfort.

“The slight deconstruction of luxurious pieces is something that I feel will be a legacy of the pandemic for a few seasons to come. A more casual way to be extravagant,” he said in his show notes. All in, it was about being cool, sleek, and real, as he said,”I’m a minimalist at heart and even when I design romantic collections, they somehow end up looking somewhat slick.”

Who is he telling! It’s no surprise that an archival Instagram account called TomFordforGucci has been steadily gaining traction as of late. Despite all that’s going on and traditional dress codes being in flux, the designer’s sexy-first, insouciantly confident aesthetic will always strike a chord. And so, some 15 years after his Gucci tenure, his Fall ’21 collection has us equally as swayed with eyebrow-raising short hems, velvety-smooth down-filled puffer jackets that doubled up as a mini dress or came teamed with microscopic hot pants. There was also a no holds barred approach with the details either, which included military-esque buttons or biker-style zips, and earrings made from broken glass, mirrors, and 18k gold. For both the styling and the pieces, Ford said he had tragic muse Edie Sedegwick on the brain, as well as the 1960s in general. That carefree element the era so embodies came through in cashmere underwear, which Ford cheekily suggested should be worn out on the town with just an oversize coat for modesty.

While Ford recently said he’s hoping to show in New York next season, for now he still has his adopted home of Los Angeles to keep him inspired. The color palette used this time around—saccharine baby and hot pinks, lilac, lavender, sunny yellow, and punchy cobalt blue—are a result of his surroundings in La La Land. And while the city might be synonymous with being laid back and easy breezy, Ford had some other adjectives in mind: “Fierce, powerful, and badass are words that resonated me this season. I mean, who doesn’t want to be a badass? Especially after being trapped at home for a year.” Who, indeed!

See the full collection below:

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