Tom Ford is no stranger to glamour. Honing his aesthetic at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent before launching his own eponymous empire, glamour is unequivocally part of his DNA – in film, in fashion, and in beauty. Today in New York City, his brand of glamour returned to Fashion Week, but in a way that was softer. Gentler. His strong, bold aesthetic of sex and power was distilled into a quietly glamorous collection of 70s disco, replete with velvet pantsuits and fur coats. Tapping the cinematic excess of the era yet steering clear of the clichés (the lamé nowhere to be seen), it rose above the glitter platforms and wide hemlines of the era with both poise and measure. It refined the signature tropes of the decade, rather than mocking them. The platforms were delicate. The pants, tapered (a nod to his Saint Laurent days). The velvet, plush. He called it “non-aggressive,” a reactionary collection to the volatile political climate of his native USA. “I feel agitated and upset, and I think clothing right now should be non-aggressive,” he said backstage. “And that sounds strange coming from me because often I have done somewhat aggressive, hard clothes. I wanted it to just be beautiful.”

And that it was. In his beautiful sea of satin suiting, rich jewels and languid shapes, were a handful of hats. Glorious, fuzzy, furry hats. Far more fashion than Boris Yeltsin, they sat somewhere between a fedora and the Russian cossack hat, a kind of stylish hybrid of the two. Perched high with drama, they also crumpled with beauty; soft and supple where it counts. They were extravagant at the brim – wide and thick – yet seeped down at the crown, almost caving in with the kind of deliberate nonchalance you would find in a New Yorker (or Texan). In soft dove grey, sand, mauve and black, Tom Ford’s hats sat askew, awry in their leaning, they covered one eye with both mystery and marvel – the kind only Tom Ford knows how to manufacture.

US model Joan Smalls walks the runway during the Tom Ford fashion show at New York Fashion Week on February 6, 2019 in midtown Manhattan, New York City. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)

Historically, the hat has served as an indicator of social status, a marker of wealth and bourgeois rank. This hat feels just that. Expensive, luxurious, decadent. In repose on a velvet couch, in a clandestine corner somewhere in Manhattan, martini in hand, it says: “Darling, pour me another drink, and make it snappy.” Can’t you just imagine it?