NEW YORK (AFP) - Tom Ford on Wednesday (Sept 6) opened New York Fashion Week with a throwback to 90s sequin glory, kicking off the spring/summer 2018 season and looking to silence criticism that the style fest is losing its mojo.
More than 230,000 people flood America's cultural capital to attend the September and February editions, where hundreds of shows, deals and parties contribute nearly US$900 million a year to the city.
Ford, the 56-year-old, Texan-born, movie-making designer transformed Manhattan's Park Avenue Armory into an intimate, pink runway that hosted A-list guests such as Kim Kardashian, actress Julianne Moore, and 90s supermodels Cindy Crawford and Helena Christensen.
"I hope it brings in a younger customer," he confided to The Business of Fashion website. "It's a bit more modern. I thought it was really important to have a proper show."
He sent down the runway models in blush sequin tops, cropped hemlines, sharply tailored jackets and body suits with plunging necklines and hip-high cut-outs. Colours were neutrals and hot pink.
Ford is making his return to New York after a season off. The show segued immediately into a after party to launch his new fragrance F****** Fabulous with buff, shirtless waiters in sports shorts handing out drinks and burgers.
He told The Business of Fashion it was "a throwback in a way to the spirit" of his collections for Gucci in the 1990s - the gig that made him famous. His eponymous eyewear, beauty and fashion empire is reportedly on track to hit retail revenue of nearly US$2 billion in 2017.
It was a bold start to a fashion week that officially begins on Thursday, when Raf Simons's second collection for Calvin Klein will be the most anticipated show.