The fashion realm witnessed the dawn of a new era at Tom Ford‘s Spring/Summer 2024 collection. As Peter Hawkings elegantly treaded the delicate path of legacy and innovation, he asked us all: How do you follow up on the brilliance of Tom Ford? It’s a question many asked as they awaited Hawkings’ debut, a man who shared 25 years of professional camaraderie with Ford, stretching back to the luminous Gucci days.
At the heart of Ford’s vision has always been a synergy of glamour, sexiness, elegance, and beauty. Hawkings, in his own acknowledgment, has imbibed these principles, aligning them with his own design philosophies. But, instead of an upheaval of traditions, the show was about harmony and cohesion. He aimed to create a synchronized universe where men’s and women’s wear don’t just coexist but flow seamlessly into one another. And that universe was much evident on the runway. Shared materials, harmonious color palettes, and sensuous design choices merged both collections.
The spectacular show seemed like a reflective journey through Ford’s legendary designs. It had nostalgic touches, like the reimagined sculpted belt buckle from Ford’s iconic Spring/Summer 1996 show for Gucci. Yet, the dress transformed into a black avatar, highlighting an exposed back, a motif repeated throughout the collection.
For Hawkings, quality stands paramount, not just a design principle but a revered value. His partnership with the Ermenegildo Zegna Group accentuated this focus on craftsmanship. The meticulously constructed women’s velvet pantsuits, reminiscent of another Ford-era Gucci masterpiece, were a testament to Hawkings’ prowess and a category he excels in.
Yet, a notable absence was Tom Ford himself, unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances in London. However, his spirit and influence resonated throughout the venue. Ford’s commendations on Hawkings’ meticulous attention to detail and predicted glamorous outcome came true.
The collection paid tribute to Donyale Luna, the illustrious Detroit-born Black supermodel, with a slick wardrobe filled with leather jackets, side slit skirts, and glossy shirts. Hawkings’ updated renditions of Ford’s velvet pantsuits and jersey dresses echoed both respect for the legacy and a new direction. His inspirations stem from personal memories, particularly the 60s and 70s fashion which his mother embraced, subtly different from Ford’s Studio 54-infused sensibilities.
It’s evident that Hawkings is striving to evolve the brand while preserving its DNA. His debut was a celebration of Tom Ford’s classics, paired with hints of his unique flair. Fashion enthusiasts now keenly await Hawkings’ next steps, where he will hopefully infuse the brand with even more of his personal creative genius, while carrying forward the illustrious Tom Ford legacy.
©Photo: Tom Ford