Why Tom Ford’s L.A. Show Means Fashion Is Changing

Photo: Courtesy of Tom Ford.
It was the Friday night before the Academy Awards and the hottest party in Hollywood was... a fashion show. Yes, you read that correctly. Tom Ford made history last night by hosting his fall 2015 show in Los Angeles instead of his usual London, an unprecedented move. Of course, his designs did not disappoint in the want-it-all department: There were fitted sequin dresses, ample fringe, patchwork denim, and lots of inky black leather, all very reminiscent of a ‘70s Stevie Nicks.

But, it was a melding of worlds off the runway that really made this show a stand-out among all the others happening during Fashion Week on the other side of the world, made possible only by the new location. Which begs the question: How symbiotic are the fashion and entertainment industries these days? (It could be argued the fashion show at NYFW
with the biggest buzz was Kanye West's – and, it wasn’t because of the clothes.) And, if celebrity attendees are what it takes to make a show relevant these days, is L.A. poised to be the next big center for fashion?

"Fashion is a global industry and not something that’s in only one city anymore,” Julianne Moore told us at the cocktail hour before the show. “[Fashion] is all over the world and everyone cares about it. I think L.A. is a very fashion town." Moore wasn’t the only actress in  attendance up for an Oscar tomorrow, Reese Witherspoon was there, as were other Hollywood heavy-hitters like Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, and Amy Adams. Said Adams, ""We have a really strong fashion scene in L.A., and I think it’s really fun that Tom brought his show here during fashion week. "And," she added, "It’s a lot warmer,"
Photo: Courtesy of Tom Ford.
The music industry turned up, too. Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Lopez, Rita Ora, Elton John, and John Legend were all sitting front row. Beyoncé and Jay-Z rolled in just after the show wrapped, apologizing to Ford with a story about Blue Ivy, a source tells us. (We’d blame the baby, too!) In fact, it doesn’t appear that Ford really missed out on much by rebelling against fashion month’s set schedule. Editors like Anna Wintour, Joanna Coles, and Joe Zee showed up, and he convinced models like Karlie Kloss, Joan Smalls, and newbie standout Gigi Hadid to skip a significant part of London fashion week to walk in his show. (Side note: Kloss closed the show in an amazing high neck, sequin and sheer mesh gown well we’re sure to see on a red carpet soon enough.) Plus, Naomi Campbell, Amber Valetta, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley sat front row. "I'm excited that I don’t have to fly anywhere to watch my favorite fashion show," Huntington-Whiteley told us. (She and boyfriend Jason Statham live in L.A.) "Tom is really smart bringing it here and being the big fish in the small pond." 
Photo: Courtesy of Tom Ford.

In an era when celebrities generate press better than anyone, perhaps it was a
smart move on Ford's part. But, did the stars in attendance overshadow the clothing? Perhaps — but in this day and age, celebrity helps sell designer brands just as much as the other way around. Regardless, it was a major moment for Los Angeles, and one that suggests there could be potential for our city to join the Fashion Week big leagues in the not-so-distant future. "This opens up a whole new world for fashion in L.A.,"  industry veteran Amber Valletta told us. "This is big time!" We couldn’t agree more. 

For all things Fashion Week around the world — including street style snaps, designer news, and the trends you'd actually wear — head over to Refinery29's Fashion Month hub.   

More from Designers

R29 Original Series