Tom Ford, acclaimed film director and former creative director of Gucci with his calculated stubble and immaculately polished aviator sunglasses, his crisp white shirt collar open at precisely the right angle to better to display his toned neck, leans forward, poised to ask his favourite contemporary designer, Nicolas Ghesquière, the publicity-shy French master craftsman, head of Balenciaga and designer revered for his futuristic interpretations of the noble couture house’s archive a question. You could hear a pin drop in the room . . . “I want to ask you about golf,” Ford says. “Because I was reading somewhere about you playing golf. I don’t think people ever imagine fashion designers doing something like playing golf”,
So that’s what happens when two fashion colossus meet to talk on the record – on this occasion for Interview magazine, the New York periodical founded by Andy Warhol and known for its in-depth coverage of the most important cultural figures. Frustrating or genius? Admittedly, it is often the case with the most talented designers that they find it hard to explain their work, as they either feel the designs speak more eloquently than themselves or because they are trapped in their own imaginative fashion bubble and don’t concern themselves with banalities that make great copy from lesser, more media-friendly figures.
It’s still an exciting prospect though. Both men have reached the very top of the fashion industry, clearly have keen intellect and, in their separate ways (Ford’s vision at Gucci and his styling of feature film A Single Man, and Ghesquière’s headline-grabbing masterpieces for Balenciaga are miles apart, aesthetically) huge insight into the present and the future of fashion. Will they spill their trade secrets though? Or at least give us some gossip a bit more juicy than their sporty leisure pursuits? We hope so.