Tom Ford SPRING 2019 READY-TO-WEARFashionRunwayVideo It figures that Tom Ford would fall for Babylon Berlin. The engrossing Netflix series—the theme song of which played at the top of tonight’s show—is set against the decadence and danger of the twilight of the Weimar era, and illicit, after-dark glamour has been Ford’s specialty since he rose to fame in the mid-1990s. In his detailed show notes—Ford opted not to do the usual post-runway interviews this season—he explained that he spent a lot of time considering what it was that attracted him to fashion in the first place. “I became a designer,” he wrote, “because I wanted to make men and women feel more beautiful and to empower them with a feeling of confidence. A feeling of knowing that they looked their best and could then present their best selves to the world. I wanted to make clothes that were flattering. That make one look taller and slimmer and more beautiful or more handsome.” It was a seductive proposition then and it’s a seductive proposition now—see Ford’s front row, which was studded with stars from Tom Hanks to Henry Golding to Cardi B. This collection, then, didn’t channel 1920s Berlin as much as it did his own late-era Gucci. There were skirtsuits cinched with corsets, deconstructed Le Smokings, men’s jackets on women cut in silk satin, lace slips peeking from the hem of ruched skirts to the knee, and 1970s-by-way-of-the-’90s caped jersey gowns. All of this came in black, white, skin-tone hues, and palest lilac. For the gentlemen, Ford paired his suits with shirts and sweaters in tonal shades, and cut a pair of dinner jackets in a pretty sensational lamé jacquard. The collection’s relative quietude—if you can call gleaming fake crocodile, spotted ponyskin, and yards of silk fringe quiet—was a direct riposte to his outing for Spring, which was glitzy and brash in the extreme. “I feel that fashion has somehow lost its 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,” Ford wrote. The implication being he includes himself in that estimation. Arriving as it did at the start of New York Fashion Week, Ford’s reset feels like it could be indicative of a greater reckoning to come. Then again it could have just been Babylon Berlin’s haunting theme song. But really, how does one dress for “harsh times”? Does glamour have a place in our crazy, messed-up world? Ford dialed down the decadence somewhat, but he’s still a believer.