It came as no surprise among the fashion set when American designer Tom Ford - credited with leading the Italian house of Gucci to unprecedented levels of success - was recently named by US Vogue as one of eight modern designers earmarked as defining current high fashion. Along with contemporaries Isaac Mizrahi, John Galliano, Helmut Lang and Marc Jacobs, Ford personifies the street-wise savvy that has to be a component of any fashion label if it is going to sell as well as it turns heads. And in collection after collection for Gucci, Ford proves that his natural endowment for predicting the direction of style politics is spot-on: the man who has spawned a legion of copyists, Ford's work has been integral to the phenomenal Gucci renaissance. The fall/winter line that has just been installed in Gucci's revamped Landmark boutique - renovated in keeping with Ford's overall design concept - proves that Ford has lost none of his talent. But while the world saw slinky snow white jersey gowns cut to the navel worn by finger-thin models in sparkling blue eye-shadow, the core of this season's collection is actually much more street-friendly. Indeed, these are the images that are rarely seen, as only dramatic items from Gucci's catwalk collection are featured in publicity material. In sync with the uniform-dressing approach adopted en masse by fashion designers, Ford drops touches of military influences into his men's and women's collections: epaulettes are on stretchy shirts and dresses as well as full-length heavy wool coats; waistbands extend halfway across a mid-thigh jacket or are accented with a bold 'G' - something of a talisman for the label - on sweeping coats. Wear only with skinny, bootleg pants, the barest of make-up and hair swept off the face. Throughout, industrial - even murky - colours dominate: septic green, the bordeaux of stale mulled wine, a pallid blue: this is low-key dressing in discreet anti-fashion mode. And Gucci is about nothing if not accessories: the lizard skin and fluffy fur bags and boots of summer have been replaced by framed handbags covered with pony hair and ankle-strap chunky shoes. The hugely-copied Gucci horsebit has been played down for winter, and in buffered brass is a shadow of its former self. And it is mildly reassuring to note that just because the winner of the last Elite modelling contest, Rosemary Vandenbroucke, is a 14-year-old waif, Gucci wears well on anyone. Well, at least anyone with a lean body, taut thighs and lots of attitude.