When you are Tom Ford, there are few fashion frontiers left to conquer.
So men’s underwear it was at his New York Fashion Week menswear show, on an army of otherwise unclad models showing off metallic animal prints and seven skin tones for his first collection of skivvies.
“I didn’t want to just crank out a bunch of underwear with my name on it,” the American said after his show, at which the made-in-Italy undies were his finale.
“I wanted to do something cool that didn’t exist and figured why can’t men have silver underwear?” “It’s all very Warhol.”
All those boxers and briefs in cotton and silk, shown as I, Tonya actor Sebastian Stan and singer Halsey sat on his front row, were paraded down Ford’s elegant runway while the designer himself went “commando”, (at least that is what he told AP).
Ford said he usually goes without undies during the day and wore none at all for years, until his now five-year-old son came along and non-family members such as the nanny became fixtures in his home.
“Underwear, it gives you one extra layer and I’m very vain and I want to just be smooth,” he said. “But little kids get up in the middle of the night and I have to run down to his room. It helps if I have on some underwear.”
So why metallics and prints that included zebra stripes?
Ford said he was designing what he calls his “latest collection of flamboyant evening jackets”, also shown with a dose of metallic prints, and figured why not undies to match?
As for undie skin tones, ranging from pale to very dark, he recalled women’s stockings of yesteryear made in a range of colours.
“I thought how cool if men could match their skin tone. You take off your clothes and you look nude,” Ford said.
The undies, some including his name on waistbands, will be available in June online, via retail partners and Ford’s own stores.
He said he resisted designing underwear for years because he didn’t want to lose control of quality production, but “it’s one of the last product categories that I did not have and did not make”.
Besides, he said, “it’s something I like looking at other people in”.
Underwear or the lack thereof aside, Ford said he is actually a fan of “uniform” dressing for himself, when he is more just Tom, the dad. Not actual uniforms but identical sets of clothing.
“Sometimes I wear the exact same suit and shirt and everything,” he said.
“Because I have a little kid. In the morning I have to get up, get dressed, get out, get him to school, make his breakfast. I don’t have time to think about it.
“I have several uniforms. I have jeans and some boots and a shirt, which I wear more in L.A, and then I have my city look, so I have a few looks, but they’re very focused.”
The look on his runway on Tuesday night included metallic brocade and animal print evening jackets, along with solids in silver paired with skinny trousers.
There were puffy coats, touches of shearling in outerwear and layers of lush knits, including a bright pink turtleneck peeking out from under a chocolate-coloured overcoat.
“Extravagant evening jackets are something I’ve been doing since I started men’s and it’s something that we’re known for,” Ford said.
“But each season it’s tricky to come up with something new. This season metallics just felt right.”
Inside and out.