Chastity and perversity are the twin themes of Tom Ford's spring/summer 2013 collection.
Tom Ford's style certainly polarises opinion these days, between those who find it backward looking and those who regard it as classic. The vote splits as soon as you're ushered through Ford HQ in Victoria and into the lifts by the same breed of chisel-jawed, side parted, uncannily smooth haired flunkies as the ones who used to line the route to the Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent shows a decade ago. All of them, it turns out, hired for the day from a model agency.
Some like the intimacy and the wink to the past (or maybe it's more of a mugging). Others, not so much. "A good journalist friend told me to quit talking at these things," Ford confessed, as he tapped away on his iPad, cueing up the models and controlling the soundtrack.
Naturally being Ford, it wasn't an entirely wordless affair, which is a good thing. The banter is what personalises these presentations. Two words in particular couldn't be dispensed with. "Chastity and perversity," he explained, were the twin themes of this collection.
Chastity came in the guise of camel cashmere sweaters, taupe skirts and long high necked black paper taffeta column dresses; perversity showed up in the form of black patent zip pencil skirts, caped backs, and the multi buckled leather strap, bondage sandal-boots.
There were plenty of what have become classic Ford tropes: backless black fitted chiffon dresses with cupped breasts (very 50 Shades of Grey ) and long, slashed, beaded skirts and skinny pants, updated this time thanks to an injection of sportiness.