“I was born in the UK, grew up in Jordan and moved to Dubai three years ago, but I’m based between Dubai and London. Because of that, I think I found a universal style for wherever I’m living. My dad is from Jordan and my mum’s from the UK so I like to bridge the east and west, and it makes me happy to see international designers doing the same.
I’m not a trend-setter, I’m quite classic. I’m always updating my wardrobe with more modern pieces, or variations of pieces that I already own. So I buy more blazers, more white shirts, more denim. I like clean tailoring. My wardrobe is blacks, nudes, and white.
I like to be adventurous and more playful with accessories but I tend to keep my outfits quite monochrome. I try not to spend more than five minutes picking out what I’m going to wear, if I spend longer than that I get really flustered. So I just pick what I want to wear, put it on and I leave. I’m also quite petite at 5ft 1, so I like form-fitting clothes. I like how clothes make me feel when they fit me properly. I always tell my followers and I always preach, ‘dress the way that suits you’. Just because something suits someone else and they’re wearing it, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to work for you. So dress according to your body type and according to what you like. It’s about being creative within your own comfort zone.”
e’s a man who needs no introduction. Tom Ford has been weaving his magic wand on women’s wear for more than two decades. He’s known for his sexual charisma and his immaculate dressing – and his confidence is borderline intimidating. Perhaps that’s because he never gets it wrong? And he knows his value. Currently he is owning the fragrance industry with a cataclysmic launch of private blends, and his killer instinct towards his menswear and
womenswear lines has yet to let him down. His vision, often centred by the provocative and the gloriously excessive, is a translation of sex appeal on a hanger. Shy women don’t wear Tom Ford, and if they do, it has the potency to revolutionise the way they dress. If you’ve ever tried on a pair of his immaculately tailored satin-trimmed crêpe straight-leg trousers, or slipped into a ruched pencil dress, you’ll know the feeling of dressing yourself to a more confident being. “I became a fashion designer because I wanted to make women feel more beautiful and to empower them with a feeling of confidence. A feeling of knowing that they looked their best and could then present their best selves to the world,” Tom Ford tells Bazaar.
His clothes breathe an assertive attitude and his A/W18 collection, which stays true to all Ford is synonymous with, was a show with all his brand signatures. Regarding the latter, it was quite literal. Sequin leopard print trousers – the most glamorous athleticism we’ve yet to clap eyes on – and black sweatshirts with a slanting signature – Ford’s own of course – reading Beverley Hills in crystals. It was a nod to fashion’s current logo-obsession and a personal ode to his former LA home. And why not, too? Top-to-toe liquid sequins – who wouldn’t at this time of year?
“In terms of mood there is a certain languid sensuality and romance to my latest collection. Skirts are just past the knee, softer and often asymmetrical. They are controlled and yet have an ease about them at the same time. Soft dresses are almost always anchored by a corset often in leather to emphasise the waist. Jackets are structured and allow the dresses and skirts to have a softness, while not making the wearer feel vulnerable,” the designer tells us of his A/W18 show.
While his collections are already geared up to make our sequin-loving hearts sing, Ford is now turning his focus precisely to the Middle East. He is launching a direct assault on our bank balances and taking advantage of our weakness for bling (guilty) and anything exclusive (guilty again) with a very limited edition capsule collection of pieces inspired by the unapologetic luxury of his A/W18 show. “When I travel to the Middle East, I am often impressed with how the women there are always so magnetic, worldly and open to different ways of styling my pieces. I have met many wonderful women on my travels to the Middle East but my perception of her always remains the same; the Middle Eastern woman commands attention wherever she goes,” Ford says, adding, “I have always thought of Middle Eastern women as beautiful and elegant with a striking sense of style. Women in the Middle East like to stand out from the crowd, and my collection does just that. The exclusive pieces I designed are about celebrating the unique people and culture that you can only find in Dubai.”
Of course, Ford isn’t the first designer to capitalise on the spending power of the Middle East market. Designers have long recognised Dubai as the gateway to the GCC and as a leader in modernity and modesty – building on the foundations of sensuality over sexuality. But, Tom Ford’s offering is not compromised in any way. He’s not adapting his styles for the region, and appeasing us with longer lengths and billowing sleeves. He’s still doing his thing. He’s just giving women in the Middle East his very precise and definitive seal of approval – within the exclusivity of the collection is an intimate recognition.
The collection includes a version of the black sequin sweater seen on the catwalk – a handmade, liquid-sequin embroidered, crêpe-satin lined jumper recreated by Mr. Ford himself exclusively for the Dubai flagship boutique in The Dubai Mall’s Fashion Avenue. It features gorgeous crystal stones detailing the designer’s handwritten signature, and then of course finished again in crystal stones with the personalised ‘Dubai’ lettering. Only 20 pieces were made world-wide, and only for Dubai, and no other country will ever receive its own namesake jumper. How privileged are we? There is also a version of Ford’s signature Natalia bag, this time in an ultra-feminine antique rose gold python leather, and for the first time ever the infamous Natalia turn lock has been finished in rose gold, too. Once more, there are only 15 pieces existing in the world that you’ll only find in The Dubai Mall store. “The Dubai mall is one of the most famous malls in the world. The Middle East is an extremely important global market, therefore I thought it was important to create something special for our Tom Ford store on the new Fashion Avenue,” he tells Bazaar. There are also men’s and women’s sunglasses to be celebrated, a futuristic-style coined Atticus, which was featured in the catwalk shows and is sold exclusively in the boutiques, which is also now available in an opulent mirrored rose gold. “Middle Eastern women are incredibly sophisticated and look for the luxury, refinement and quality in all aspects of their lives. They want luxury in a modern way that resonates with the new world that is fast emerging in the Middle East. She also expects an exclusive private atmosphere and a high level of personal service that matches her lifestyle – all of which are at the core of the Tom Ford brand,” the designer concludes, having seen an appetite for a higher level of dressing and a boldness in our region to which he wants to honour. Say it with sequins.
This page, Hannah Rasekh wears: Sweater, Dhs17,430; skirt, both Tom Ford. Boots, Hannah’s own. Opposite page, Saufeeya wears: Sweater, Dhs17,430; jacket, Dhs14,000; trousers, Dhs4,515; sunglasses, Dhs1,800;shoes, Dhs4,935, all Tom Ford