Three-quarters of the way through Tom Ford’s show tonight came the logo sweatshirt to end all logo sweatshirts. The designer’s slanting signature was picked out in crystals on black sequins above block letters spelling Beverly Hills. Anybody who lived through the ’80s was instantly reminded of Giorgio Beverly Hills, the iconic Rodeo Drive boutique and the insanely successful status symbol-y fragrance it spawned.

Ford relocated to L.A. from London in the last year or so, so he has a personal resonance with zip code 90210. Of course, he’s always had a killer eye for branding. This instance seemed to wink ever so slightly at Alessandro Michele’s logo-crazy Gucci, Ford’s alma mater. He’s careful to remind people that he hired Michele back in the day. In any case, there will be wait lists for Ford’s sparkly sweatshirt, which he accessorized with leopard-print leggings, one of many pairs in many different materials that gave this collection its athletic mien.

Besides branding, another area of Fordian expertise is glorious excess. And trust, there was no shortage of it at his Park Avenue Armory show tonight. The Dow plunged more than 1,000 points earlier today. No doubt, some panicky tycoons dotted the front row, but irrational exuberance lives on this runway. Animal spots, sequins, animal spots rendered in sequins, acid colours, Koos Van Den Akker on LSD patchworks—this show had them all and then some.

The go-go ’80s weren’t the only era he plumbed, either. Marginally more sober black minidresses worn with silver tights, crystal-heeled slingback pumps, thick headbands, and oversize hoops conjured Andy Warhol superstar Edie Sedgwick. The tailoring was predictably strong, given his menswear business, and the sexy tuxedo catsuit is poised for the red carpet. Elsewhere, Ford seemed to give a nod to our #MeToo moment. Grace Hartzel carried a bag that proudly declared Pussy Power.

That’s Tom Ford in a nutshell: confident in the extreme and irreverent to the edge of defiance. For every viewer that questions this show’s good taste, there’s another that’ll call it glamour and be seduced.

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