Gigi Hadid took a dramatic twirl on the runway and Cardi B took a seat on Tom Ford’s front row as the designer kicked off New York Fashion Week.

Ford rolled out a ready-to-wear collection that was both romantic and hard-edged on Wednesday night for the next spring and summer season. He included looks for men and women as he looked back on his long career to the simplest reason he got into the business in the first place – to make people feel beautiful and confident.

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Ford made use of flesh tones, warm whites, powder blue, blush pink and the palest lilac with touches of lace and chiffon to achieve the soft and sensuous part of the equation. He offered the structure of hard leather and the sheen of fake crocodile for toughness.

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To Ford, it’s all about glamour. On the male models, glitzy brown and silver, metallic jacquard and delicate embroidery, evening jackets and earthy tones sweaters are matched with the signature Fordy slim cut. When it comes to style, he never overlooks men.

“I feel that fashion has somehow lost it’s way a bit and it is easy for all of us to be swept up in trends that have lost touch with what women and men want to actually wear. So I did not want to make clothes that were ironic, or clever but simply clothes that were beautiful,” Ford said in the show notes.

The front row is star-studded with actors Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks, as well as Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding sitting between Vogue’s Anna Wintour and American singer Cardi B.

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The designer was famed for reviving Gucci in the late 1990s. He shaped the ultimate sexiness and glamour for the Italian brand’s men and women’s lines, and brought Gucci to a commercial success. On the spring/summer 2019 runway for his own brand, it seems Ford is missing – as much as the rest of the world does – and paying tribute to the alluring, golden era he has created.

Additional reporting by Leona Liu

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