Tom Ford Wants People To Embrace Nakedness

Former Gucci designer Tom Ford believes people look better naked as clothes can sometimes be unflattering.

Tom Ford believes people look better naked.

The former Gucci designer says clothes can sometimes be unflattering and thinks it is a good idea to embrace nakedness to help give people confidence in their bodies.

He said: “I spend most of my time at home naked. You know, most people actually look better nude. We are all one harmonious colour, with a symmetry and an innate elegance. Fat women almost always look better without the constraint and lumpy pinching of clothes, all the straps and elastic squeezing and sucking.

“We are the only animal that wears clothes, and that can’t just be because dogs can’t do up buttons.”

While he believes most people look better naked, Tom – who recently released his first womenswear collection in six years – says he wants his clothes to be flattering and timeless.

He told Style magazine: “You make your own look and add what you like. I wanna make things that are classic. Imagine how great to have invented the Chanel suit or the blazer.”

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After Lanvin its Tom Ford for Retail major H&M

Just days after there was news that Lanvin is going to hit the H&M collection, there is also news that another French-themed install is going to come out through the retail chain. This is going to a limited-edition collection from Tom Ford. It is the same edition that appeared in the December-January issue of French Vogue.

The issue was guest edited by Tom Ford. He arrived and started to drive back into the women’s wear. He came after the French Vogue’s editor in chief Carine Roitfeld invited Ford.

The whole issue was a collection of art which was the theme and the driving force for the issue.

Talking about the same, Roitfeld said to the papers, “I always say, ‘Tom has an eye like a scanner,’?” Besides this, Ford has also decided that he would be coming on the cover of the lifestyle magazine with a 15-year old model.

The name of the model is Daphne Groeneveld and appears in the front centre of the page with her glossy eyes closed.

And while the magazine shows the design, it is for H&M that these will become accessible to youth.

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Tom Ford Launching Women`s Bags

At the Tom Ford prefashion show was the zip bag, a small but practical small leathergoods piece; minaudiere came in 18-karat gold or glass; a croc bag with woven leather shoulder strap; a black croc zipped pochette and a pochette trimmed in velvet. It appears the bags are geared more toward evening and tended toward the smaller side. It was refreshing to see no large, bulky totes or dreaded dog carriers. Images of the collection will be released in January so stay tuned Bag Snobs!

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Beyonce, Julianne Moore Model Tom Ford’s New Women’s Collection

Hilary Alexander of The Telegraph just tweeted some amazing fashion news. She was invited to the Tom Ford cocktail party this evening. Well, the cocktail party turned out to be a fashion show of Tom Ford’s new womenswear line. There were rumors that Tom would show the line at an exclusive party, but it’s now fact not rumor. But it gets better. The models were Beyonce, Julianne Moore, Daphne Guinness, Rita Wilson and Lauren Hutton. Hilary said:

Beyonce, julianne Moore daphne guinness rita wilson lauren hutton all modfelled Tom Ford’s debut s/s collection tonight. Tom was compere!

Fabulous fun sexy glamour see-thru shirts and Beyonce wiggling in silvrr and gold and black mesh python pattern modelling at tom ford

So Beyonce blew off the VMAs in Los Angeles to model for Tom Ford. How very interesting. We can’t wait to see the collection. Tom only allowed one photographer at the showing who works for him. So he has total control over the photos to minimize leaks. Rumors say he won’t release the photos until January. Could he really be so cruel?

Elle’s Joe Zee shared more details of the show via Twitter


Ultra glam at Tom Ford. Presented like an old couture show, Tom narrated his parade of chic, sexy clothes on “women that inspired him”.

Women modelling at Tom Ford: Beyonce, Julianne Moore, Natalia, Daria, Amber, Karen Elson, Marisa Berensen, Lauren Hutton, Daphne Guiness!

Tom Ford gorgeousness: silk fringe gown, crisp tuxedos in blk and white, leopard pantsuits, corsets under peekaboo gowns and lace kneeboots.

Sat with Solange Knowles and we cheered Beyonce working her silver sequin lace dress. Solange said she wants the afro Joan Smalls modelled!

Sorry guys. No unofficial pics at Tom Ford allowed. But trust me, it was a visual smorgasboard of refined chic and sexiness.

Tom did the show old school, just like the Paris couture houses in the 50s. He narrated the show and explained each look to the audience. Derek Blasberg tweeted more about the event:

Liya Kebede, Lauren Hutton, Natalia Vodianova, Lou Doillon and Joan Smalls, with Terry Richardson shooting them all on the runway. “And she just turned me straight…” Tom Ford sighs, referring to Joan Smalls

More more more! Rachel Feinstein (with John Currin in the front row), Amber Valetta (with a ‘The Women’ reference), Julia Restoin Roitfeld..

“I’m definitely straight now,” Tom Ford says looking at Beyonce Knowles in his fashion show, with sister Solange wooping from the front row.

Diamond and platinum jewelry, all her own,” Tom Ford says of his last model, the Honorable Daphne Guinness, closing his show. WOW WOW WOW!

From the tone of the tweets tonight it must have been an amazing presentation. We’ve never heard fashion editors in such a tizzy: they’re practically hyperventilating as they tweet.

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Tom Ford to Preview First Women’s Collection

WWD.COM is reporting that Tom Ford will give a glimpse of his first signature women’s designs during New York Fashion Week at a cocktail he’s hosting the evening of Sept. 12. It is understood the first full collection — spanning ready-to-wear, shoes, bags and jewelry — will be shown to the trade in January for June delivery. A Ford spokeswoman confirmed “a small cocktail party” but declined to give other details. And on Wednesday, French fashionista and Jane Birkin’s daughter Lou Doillon let slip that she would be walking for Ford next week. Ford’s first complete womenswear collection will be comprised of ready-to-wear garments, shoes, bags and jewelry. It’s slated to hit stores next June.

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The Excellent People

Posted in Art, Design, Disillustionment, Excellency, Expectation, Fashion, Icon, Literature, Lust, Media, Nostalgia, Style by The Excellent People on November 1, 2009

Tom Ford

Former Gucci designer Tom Ford on the set of A Single Man, his new film, to be released later this year by the formerly Excellent Harvey Weinstein. Image approved by the newly Excellent director Tom Ford

INTRODUCTION: The Silence of the Lambs

“He controlled everything, not just the design, not just the runway shows, but the stores, the advertising, the packaging, the bags that people carried out the doors, he was a complete control freak, and that’s what made the company successful.”–Patrick McCarthy

Tom Ford

“Tom doesn’t want the book to happen.” Someone who was accustomed to, and who enjoyed the luxury of saying no uttered these words authoritatively, with a certain casual threat of impending finality. Lisa Schiek, the former worldwide director of communications at Gucci Group NV, was calling from her London office early one frosty morning last winter to inform me that Tom Ford—the about-to-depart creative director of Gucci and (more recently) Yves Saint Laurent—had declined my request to be interviewed for this book. When informed that the project would move forward with (preferably, hopefully) or without (regrettably, sadly) Tom’s corporation, Schiek’s reply was swift, cordially dismissive, yet matter of fact. “What if Tom calls the publisher?”

“Why?” I asked.

“To tell them not to publish the book,” Schiek said.

“What if Tom called me?” I countered, trying to avoid conflict and explaining that the book was meant to be inspirational to readers and would focus solely on Ford’s work history for Gucci. No hardcore personal details (Just the facts!), no Kitty Kelley-ish prying. Silence. Or was it a snicker? Then: “He’ll just tell all of his friends not to talk to you.”  End of discussion. The Guru of Gucci, the King of Cool, the Lord of 1990s Luxe, had spoken, his wish and command delivered by one of his highly paid disciples.

Tom Ford

And so it came to pass that mum was the word from a host of “Friends of Tom”: fashion industry professionals and power brokers contacted to comment on his stellar and illustrious career at Gucci. First to refuse was Cathy Hardwick, the woman who gave Ford his first break as a young would-be designer in 1986 (“What I saw was Heaven,” Hardwick said of Ford in 1995 when he received his first International Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. “He had such a fantastic presence, a beautiful face, and elegant hands. I hired him 10 minutes later!”). Tim Blanks, host of Fashion Television, when first contacted, enthusiastically agreed to be interviewed, offering both his office and personal cell phone numbers, but a few days later emailed to say that he was saving his thoughts and comments about Ford for his own Tom Ford project. Kal Ruttenstein, fashion director of Bloomingdale’s and Scott Tepper, fashion director of Henri Bendel didn’t return repeated calls. Kate Betts, a former editor of Harper’s Bazaar, now editor of Time, Inc’s Life and Style magazine offered her expertise as someone who had written extensively about Ford, but once she found out it wasn’t a Ford-sanctioned project changed her mind, as did many others.

Harold Koda, chief curator of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum  of Art, which in 2003 mounted the very well attended and profitable “Goddess” exhibition, sponsored in part by the Gucci Group, was unavailable when contacted. He was traveling in Europe, where he was surely to see Tom, from whom he would, possibly, seek permission to speak with me I was informed. “He and Tom are good friends and unless Tom aggress, he won’t be able to speak to you,” said a spokeswoman for the Costume Institute, which has a sizable collection of Tom Ford for Gucci pieces in its permanent collection. Dawn Mello, who was brought in to help revive Gucci back in 1990, and who is widely credited with hiring Ford (although later disposed of “Kremlin-style” by Gucci in 1994, according to a fashion journalist with knowledge of the situation) first checked with Ford and, after being warned, refused to speak.

Tom Ford

Former assistants and design team colleagues of Ford also wouldn’t go on the record.  Francisco Costa, the new head designer at Calvin Klein and formerly an assistant to Ford at Gucci demurred through a company publicist, though he was kind enough to wish me the best with the project. Photographers Mario Testino, Terry Richardson, and ad man Doug Lloyd, who conceived and worked on many of Gucci’s most iconic advertising campaigns followed suit. Andrea Gonzalex, alumni director of Santa Fe Prep, the New Mexico preparatory school attended by Thomas R. Ford (Class of ’79) refused to comment, after at first offering to supply me with a a copy of Santa Fe Prep Magazine to which Ford had recently granted an interview (‘It’s in the public domain,” she had originally said. “That shouldn’t be a problem. I’ll mail it to you.”). The offer was kindly rescinded after she phoned the Gucci offices in London. “I’ve spoken with Tom’s office and we cannot take part in any project that is not approved by him,” was her official statement before quickly hanging up the phone when I called to check on the estimated arrival date of the promised magazine. The list goes on. Hundreds of phone calls where made, as many faxes were sent, emails languished in the ether of the chicest computer networks in the top fashion capitals of the world.

It’s understandable, perhaps. It’s predictable, certainly. After all, with Ford’s career in flux and while tout le monde contemplates his next move, no one wants to offend him by saying anything good or bad (unless whispered sotto voce) about him. After all, there are photo ops to be had at the next fashion awards show, there are private dinners to attend in Paris, London, Los Angeles, New York, New Mexico or other locations where the jet-setting Tom Ford might find himself on any given day. There are front row invitations to the next Ford fashion show to covet and consider –all important matters to a true-blooded fashionista.

So, how to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear? This book is a look at Tom Ford the way that he, perhaps, would, most likely, prefer it, a look at his career and work history through his eyes and the words and images that he has projected, through his collections and advertising campaigns for Gucci. This work has propelled him into the pop culture lexicon. It is a brief study of “Tom Ford for Gucci,” as the magazine credits mysteriously (yet purposely) began to read a few years ago. Now that all the post Gucci hubbub and the backstage, backbiting whispers about him have somewhat  died down; now that the heartfelt and bitter tears over his departure from the Gucci Group have dried up, it is now time to examine the fashion legacy of Tom Ford. Not Tom Ford the man, but Tom Ford the icon. The following words will do just that.


Posted in Art, Beauty, Cinema, Communication, Design, Desire, Disillustionment, Excellency, Fashion, Icon, Literature, Loyalty, Lust, Luxury, Media, Music, Nostalgia, Photography, Society, Style, Technology, The Look, Theater, Thought, Travel, Visuals by The Excellent People on January 28, 2010

Tom Ford

Tom Ford at his final Gucci show. February, 24, 20004.

‘cause you’re free

To do what you want to do

You’ve got to live your life

Do what you want to do

–Ultra Nate, “Free


Milan, Italy. February 25, 2004, 7 p.m.

Tom Ford

Best Actress winner Charlize Theron at the 76th Academ Awards ceremony. February 29, 2004. Gown by Tom Ford for Gucci.

Pink rose petals, and teardrops. Both are falling, raining, cascading in vast abundance inside Theatre Diana, a former movie theatre located in Milan’s Piazza Oberdan. Tom Ford, the creative director of Gucci, dressed in a black tuxedo, a gardenia tucked into his lapel, takes a final, almost stoic, walk down a pale pink sheepskin-covered runway. He is presenting his last fashion show for the legendary Florentine fashion house, a collection comprised of updated versions of his hard-edged, sex-charged signature looks from seasons past (black suits, fan-seamed to accentuate the curves; decadent fox fur stoles; bomber jackets made of Python skin and leather; knee-length corset skirts; gowns made of slivers of satin in acid lime, chartreuse and cobalt blue; white column dresses with plunging necklines and subtle cut-outs disclosing hints of flesh). As the singer Ultra Nate’s 1996 house music classic Free thumps and blares from the sound system, there is hardly a dry eye in the room. The black clad crowd of editors, buyers, retailers, friends, and foes leaps to its feet to salute, clap, cheer, and bid a weepy farewell to the 42-year-old charismatic man with matinee idol looks. Tom Ford, a former model-slash-actor, who, in astutely attaching his fortunes and applying his acute creative design and business acumen to a fading company more than10 years prior (astoundingly upping that company’s cache and clout in the process) is now a legend, a star himself, his name, his persona, more famous and more seductive, than the Gucci brand itself.


The Gucci after-party. Midnight.

It’s raining rose petals (again) inside the Theatre Diana at the Gucci after show fete. More goodbyes. More tears. At the strike of Midnight, in a scene reminiscent of chic, decadent, boogie nights at Studio 54, the famed New York City discotheque of the Seventies (or at least a Tom Ford-produced simulacrum thereof) rose petals descend from the heavens of the Theatre Diana, pouring down over the guests (an edited down, more select list of the same crowd from the earlier Gucci show) who are partying like it’s 1979. Ford and his longtime romantic partner, Richard Buckley, a journalist and editor of Vogue Hommes International, the Paris-based men’s fashion magazine, observe the double G-rated bacchanalia from a distance, ensconced in a corner away from the throngs who are jostling for drinks at the bar. Shortly after midnight the couple disappear and board a private jet bound for Los Angeles and the runway of the west, the red carpet of Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre, site of the 76th Academy Awards ceremony.


Hollywood Boulevard. February 29, 2004, 5 p.m. PST

Tom Ford

Deja vu: model Daria Werbowy wears a look from Tom Ford’s final collection for Yves Saint Laurent. Paris, March 7, 2004. Image via

At the Kodak Theatre South African actress Charize Theron, one of the night’s Best Actress nominees for her career making role in the film “Monster,” slithers along the red carpet, the fashion world’s most important catwalk, towards the building’s entrance amid pops and flashes of paparazzi camera lenses. She pauses only briefly here and there to field the questions and demands of an international crew of news and celebrity reporters from E! Entertainment Television, Access Hollywood, and Entertainment Tonight. When her category winner is announced hours later, billions of eyes are on Theron as she gives her acceptance speech, clutching her Oscar. Her gown, a spaghetti strapped, crystal-encrusted, champagne colored number designed by Tom Ford for Gucci, glitters and shimmers under the house lights as brightly and insistently as her dazzling smile, an image that will be broadcast on television programs and shown in newspapers and magazines around the globe ad infinitum.


Paris, France. March 7, 2004, 8 p.m.

The gardens of The Musee Rodin, home to Auguste Rodin’s famous sculpture The Thinker, are bathed in red light from the Chinese paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling as the sound of classical music and the aroma of Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium perfume waft through the air. The mood is Chinoiserie and déjà vu as East meets West, Orient Express-style in Tom Ford’s final show for Yves Saint Laurent, also owned by the Gucci Group. The show is an hommage to YSL’s famous 1977 Chinese-inspired Opium collection. There are fitted jackets with Chairman Mao collars in red, emerald green, and chocolate brown. Furs are shaved in the pattern of dragon scales, tight jet beaded jackets shine like lacquered cabinets. A model wearing a black crocodile anorak with a mink-lined hood floats down the runway. Cocktail dresses come with fan shaped beading; sequined sheath dresses come in yellow or red, slashed to the thigh. Then! A black sequined gown with a gold lotus blossom pattern. The crowd jumps to its feet in appreciation. Ford, dressed in a red velvet tuxedo jacket, walks down the red carpeted runway, and simply mouths the words “Thank you” as the appreciative crowd cheers and applauds from the sidelines, roaring their approval as if witnessing a final curtain call for Madame Butterfly at the Paris Opera House. Another image is forever seared into the collective pop culture consciousness.


Tom Ford

A star is reborn in 2010: Tom Ford in Hollywood, directing A Single Man. Publicity still.

“Always leave them wanting more,”

as the old Hollywood saying goes, And Tom Ford, since making the decision to the leave Gucci amid rumors of salary disputes and issues of control had done just that. Leaving at a career pinnacle after showing his last collection for Gucci, dressing Best Actress Charlize Theron for the Oscars, and presenting his last runway show for Yves Saint Laurent­; all in less than a fortnight.  Now liberated from his contract with the Gucci Group, as Ultra Nate’s recorded voice had sung at that final Gucci show, Ford was free to live his life; free to do want he wanted to do.  But what would it be? By 2004 Ford had become the leading man of the biggest cliffhanger in fashion history and in the weeks following his departure from Gucci, the company he helped rebuild, Tom Ford Minus Gucci became Topic A in conversations among the fashion cognoscenti. In fact it seemed that Tom Ford (and what he would do next) was all anyone could talk about.

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Tom Ford and Celebs Looking Handsome as Ever

Tom Ford fashionLadies and Gentlemen get your men in Tom Ford Suits… throughout the MET Tom Ford has the men looking Eye Candy…

Just a reminder Tom Ford is available at the Tom Ford Boutique, Fashion Avenue, Dubai Mall.

Details On Tom Ford’s Rodeo Store Approved

Jon Kortajarena

The final plans for the new Tom Ford West Coast flagship retail location have been finalized by the Architectural Commission, Wednesday.

The site, located at 344-346 N. Rodeo Dr., received unanimous approval by the commission with only slight amendments to external lighting features. As it stands, a vertical application of lights, nicknamed an “eyebrow feature,” line the top of the building, surrounding vitrines. The commission has required that the eyebrow feature extend across the top of the building and that the dimmable LCD lighting, which runs in the recesses, be programmable and regulated to avoid harshness.

The project site, which is helmed by Callison Architects, is located on the east side of the 300 block of N. Rodeo Dr. between Ballys to the south and Michael Kors to the north. The project proposed a remodel of the existing space as well as a remodel to the overall façade.

The initial building plans were approved in July with the final revisions to lighting pending. The remodel includes replacing the former granite stone panel exterior with white, smooth plaster, repainting the window frames black, insertion of new glass panels above Ballys and the creation of two new rectangular display windows flanking two openings to an interior courtyard. The site will also receive new signage.

The Architectural Commission is the last discretionary approval for the retail location. An expected date to commence operation of the site was not available at press time.


Sixteen Questions for A Single Man’s Tom Ford

Ex-Gucci designer Tom Ford, 48, has David Geffen to thank not only for his old office complex on Sunset, but for advising him to invest in himself. That he did, with his remarkably assured $7-million film debut, A Single Man. It’s not surprising that the film has style to spare. But it also boasts the strongest performance of Colin Firth’s career. His role as a 1962 college professor grieving the loss of his lover of 16 years won him best actor at Venice and has pushed the British veteran into the Oscar race for the first time. The hottest acquisition title on the fall festival circuit, A Single Man was scooped up by The Weinstein Co., which opens the film December 11.

Single Man

1. Have you always been a movie obsessive?

Tom Ford: Oh yes. I have been since I was a kid. Let’s start with The Wizard of Oz, which I saw when I was three years old. As a young gay man growing up, I watched every movie that you’d see on The Late Show. Then living in New York in the late seventies and early eighties, there was a certain culture to knowing every old Hollywood film. And that just continued to expand when I was in architecture school. I remember being blown away by Fritz Lang’s Metropolis for the first time. And I’ve been film obsessed ever since.

Tom Ford

2. What difficulties did you have adapting the Christopher Isherwood novel, which you changed in some key ways?

TF: Yes. When I bought the rights to the book, I loved the character of George, I loved really the point of the book, which is really about living in the present. When I tried to turn that into a film, it didn’t work, because nothing happened externally, it was all an inner monologue, a beautiful piece of prose. But nothing happened for us to be able to understand what George was feeling unless I was using a voiceover. So I had to create devices that would explain to the audience what he was going through and what he was feeling and thinking. George’s relationship with Charley [Julianne Moore] is very different; she’s a very different character. Jim [Matthew Goode] does die in a car crash, and they had been together 16 years. But you know the little girl across the street, the scene in the bank, the hustler, the two men with the dogs, the suicide, all of that comes from my life. There was a beautiful screenplay by David Scearce, and I’d never written a screenplay before.

3. Had you been a writer at all?

TF: When I was young, I won all the Southwest Creative Writing Awards at my little school in Santa Fe, New Mexico! But no, I’ve written a few magazine articles, but you know, only because I’m a fashion designer and people would say “Write a magazine article for me,” I didn’t get the job on my merit as a writer, but I loved it. I’m actually a loner and an introvert. Life is a performance. I am very much George, which is why I think I related to the character and grafted a large part of my own autobiography onto that character. Writing was very gratifying because when it’s in your mind and you’re sitting in your bed with your computer…it’s perfect. I got to the point where I couldn’t wait to get home and spend two hours working on a scene every night. And I loved it. You can’t fake anything. If you’re honest and true and you love something, and you put that energy into it, people can usually feel it on the other side. And I went so far out on a limb with this that I had moments that I thought, ‘Oh my God, this could be a total disaster.’ But I had the inner feeling that this would really prove that if you put an enormous amount of love into something, it might be bad—you can like it or not like it—but you’ll feel a certain passion.

4. Were you way out on a limb financially?

TF: I was, and I financed it myself. Not everybody has the capability to do that.

5. That is such a rare thing, as you know. People who can, don’t. Did people say to you, ‘Don’t do it’?

TF: You know, everybody said don’t do it, except a very very good friend of mine, David Geffen. I had two people in independent financing who were going to put up the money, and it was September, time to start pre-production. And my money evaporated because they felt it was too risky. So everything had come together, I had this great cast, I had it all together and I just had this feeling, ‘if I don’t make this now I’m never going to get to make it,’ and I had to do it. David said, ‘finance it yourself, you know what, it’s an investment in yourself. You invest in other things, you’re the surest bet you’ve got. If you believe in it and you believe in yourself, invest in yourself.’ So I gave him a thank you in the credits for that.

6. You wrote Charley for Julianne Moore, who was the first major cast to sign on. But you had someone else lined up in the Firth role?

TF: I ran into Colin at the Mamma Mia! premiere and was standing there chatting with him and just kept looking at him and could not believe it. He didn’t know that I wanted him, because his agent said he’s not available. So we moved later, he was wrapping Dorian Gray, our other actor took a job that paid more money, which I understand. Colin was the right guy. What I loved about him and the reason I thought he was right is that he’s often a little bit flat, on the surface, but he’s not flat. There’s an inner life to Colin coming through his eyes you just feel, there’s just so much more there.

7. How did you get that astonishing long close-up of him grieving, sitting in the chair?

TF: I said to him, ‘There’s a wonderful piece of film of Bill Clinton sitting being interviewed about Monica Lewinsky, did you see his face? We’re just going to hold the camera on you, and its going to be about your face.’ And we got to a point where I think he kept waiting. We did three thousand feet of that, I just couldn’t say cut! Because I get to a moment where I’d think Colin was thinking, ‘is he going to say cut?’ So he’d just go deeper and more and more into it, and the whole crew was just holding their breath. I couldn’t say cut, because just when you were about to, he’d start doing something else. So that was Colin. That was me holding the camera on Colin.

8. And you made the decision not to go digital?

TF: We shot on film, Kodak, on an old, old stock with a heavy grain and there was barely enough of it to do the film. They don’t make it anymore. I knew I wanted a grain, I thought, ‘do I really want a vintage look?’ I don’t like all this high-def, especially for this movie.

9. So the film is very design heavy. You create these tableaus, like the impossibly gigantic poster for Psycho, which would have already opened?

TF: I imagined it was just a lingering old poster from 1960. George hasn’t looked at anyone in the eye for so long and on the last day of his life he starts really looking at people and connecting to them because the eyes are really the way we are able to connect with other spirits and souls on this planet. And he’s also talking about fear, and I came across a photograph of a television image of that image, and I thought, ‘I have to use Janet Leigh’s eyes.’ And so I imagined that whole scene, we designed that set and I blew them up like that so they were just looming. I set out to make a film that looked right to me. You have to be true to yourself because that’s what’s ultimately going to give whatever you’re creating a point of view, make your thing look different from someone else’s thing. I knew what I was as a fashion designer, but when I decided ‘OK, I’m going to finally make a movie, I had to think, well why? What does anyone need to see my movie for? Why would anyone care? What is a Tom Ford movie? What do I stand for? What do I mean, what do I believe in, what is the story that I want to tell? And, what type of film?’ And so, it was very intuitive. And of course, loving film, I have a large file cabinet full of visual imagery, shots, moments, things that stand out from lots of different films. I didn’t set out to replicate any one of those, it wasn’t that. You have this repertoire, certain influences in things come out and you can probably see what directors I love and have been inspired by.

10. It must be the Italians?

TF: Oh, absolutely. Oh, Antonioni, absolutely, Vittorio de Sica, Umberto D. is one of my favorites. There are huge moments when nothing happens, you just have to watch; nobody says a word.

11. You also showed confidence in picking unproven talent like cinematographer Eduard Grau, who is 28 years old.

TF: Again, it was just a feeling. He’s fabulous. I’d looked at everyone’s DVDs and couldn’t find anyone that’d struck me. And I’m not even sure who placed his DVD on my desk because I’ve talked to every agent in town and everyone was looking. We were just a few weeks away from shooting, already in pre-production, and I didn’t have a DP. And his DVD ended up on my desk, I popped it in and I just thought, ‘This is it.’ There’s something about a Spanish sensibility, very lush, that I wanted, and it struck me. Maybe its because I grew up in New Mexico. He jumped on a plane, came over from London, we had lunch, and I hired him. Our biggest struggle was that he’s an Aries. And Aries loves to argue. Oh god, it was just arguing. But that’s ok. I would work with him again in a second. I looked and looked and looked and looked and looked and looked. There were great DPs who I knew who I wanted, who wouldn’t do it because it wasn’t enough money, or who were on other projects. We had a very low budget because we had a 2-2 waiver, the maximum you can spend on a 2-2 waiver is $7.2 million and we came in well below that. The union gives you a break and had we kicked even slightly above that the price would have jumped way up, and so you know we had a bar.

12. But you spent more on Arianne Phillips’ costumes, Dan Bishop’s production design and the color palette shifts with the character’s moods?

TF: We didn’t spend a lot on costumes. We made a few things, but a lot of things were vintage. Production design: I painted all the paintings in Charley’s house myself; I dragged in my furniture, bits and pieces of art, you know, that was a blank room. We hung drapes and made a curved sofa and threw down some shag carpet from Carpet Warehouse and, you know, some mirrors, which I put hairspray on so we wouldn’t have reflections. The mood shift I came up with when I was writing; it was another device to help the audience understand what George was feeling at that stage of his cancer. When I’m depressed, I don’t see color, everything is very flat. And maybe it’s because I’m a designer, but when I am in a state of excitement, everything is so sharp and colorful and amazing, and I can look at blue and I see the yellow in it and the green in it, and the green-blues, the yellow-blues, so. I wanted to help the audience understand what George was feeling and it was another device, as was the music.

13. The composers were not established Hollywood players either?

TF: Music is very emotional. I love Shigeru Umebayashi’s music from In The Mood For Love, the Wong Kar Wai film. I contacted him in Tokyo and sent him a rough cut screener of where I was at that stage. I have a little office in Tokyo, so I had him come to the office and watch the film. He was working on other things but he said he could do a few pieces, and he watched the film for two days over and over and went away and came back with three amazing pieces. Then I was looking for a composer, listening, listening, and I came across Abel Korzeniowsky and realized the difference. Ume is great at creating a free-standing piece of music, Abel is great at scoring, watching action and emotion, and writing to emphasize and heighten. We recorded it at Warner Bros with a ninety-piece orchestra, and it was like one of those things, I cried. Just cried. I cried when I wrote it, I cried when we were shooting it, I just cried and cried and cried. It was so much fun.

14. Now when you first debuted the film, was that Venice?

TF: It was at a CAA screening. I didn’t let anyone see it while I was editing. It took a long time, six months by the time I finished the music and everything. I had a pretty decent rough cut after four months. But I took a lot longer doing it than I thought I was going to. I really didn’t understand. I had heard ‘a film is made in the cutting room,’ and you have to have great material when you go in. But I didn’t understand that you can actually change what happens in the stories as you cut the scene or move things around, and it was fascinating. I had periods where I just thought, ‘this is a disaster,’ and then I would figure something out and I would become reenergized and I would think, ‘no, its not a disaster, I figured that out! It works!’ And then I’d find something else wrong, and then it finally just settled, in a way that I felt like, that’s what it wanted to be. [At CAA] I felt so sick. I felt just ill. I really, I’m not someone who ever throws up, but I was close. And then the reaction was very positive. But this was still a room of agents, friends, so Venice was really the first showing to an actual audience. I was on autopilot. I wish I could freeze the moments after Colin won the [best actor] award standing in front of the boat, the wind blowing his hair, so relaxed and happy.

15. What made you make your distribution deal in Toronto with Harvey Weinstein?

TF: I’ve known Weinstein a long time. He’s one of most supportive people, he’s passionate about what he does. He loves film. When he’s passionate, he’s very passionate.

16. What’s next?

TF: Well, I’ve written something else from scratch, but I can’t say whether or not it’s what I’m going to do next or not, I need some distance. My head is spinning.

Source :  / Thompson on Hollywood