Tom Ford is a fashion designer who had great success seven years back when he directed his first film, the excellent A Single Man. A few weeks ago, his second film, Nocturnal Animals (not a thriller) made its theatrical debut; it will continue to expand to additional markets over the coming weeks. That explains why Ford has a new GQ profile, written by Taffy Brodesser-Akner. It doesn’t explain what’s in the profile, which… whoo boy, let’s just jump into it. Adrien Grenier, someone’s coming for your pretentious dipshit crown.
Tom Ford thinks about death all day, if you want to know the truth. “I look at a puppy and I think, ‘Oh my God, that puppy’s so beautiful. Oh, it’s just going to be old and die.’ And that makes that puppy even more beautiful.” He leans forward. “I like ﬂowers. They’re beautiful. I think, ‘Well, they’re going to be dead in three or four days, but my God, aren’t they beautiful now?’ ” He leans back and exhales. “Everything’s so transient,” he says. “Everything dies.”
THIS IS THE OPENING PARAGRAPH. And that’s when I knew: Taffy Brodesser-Akner hates Tom Ford. Haaaates him. You don’t open with this Philosophy 101 drivel unless you think your subject’s a douche, but you don’t want to say so because it’ll get you fired.
“I look at my son and he’s so happy and joyful and I say, ‘Richard [Ford’s husband], it’s because he hasn’t learned the secret yet. And the secret is that he’s going to die.’ ”
Tom Ford takes the first of his three to five daily power baths at 6 A.M., rising before Richard and Jack, in order to rouse himself from the sleeping pills that have made him nearly comatose. He sits in the bath with his eyes closed, sipping iced coffee through a straw like he’s in the ICU being brought back from anesthetized abyss.
I demand a class war, stat.
He helps Jack dress, and he allows Jack to pick his own clothes. Granted, the only clothes Jack owns are clothes that Tom Ford, who is his father, has pre-selected for him; he has little access to items that his father finds unacceptable.
The italics are Brodesser-Akner’s. HATES. HIM.
A sore subject in the Ford household: Jack has some light-up dinosaur shoes, and sometimes he tries to wear them to school, and when Ford catches him doing this, he has to step in. “What does Dada say about the dinosaur shoes?” “They’re tacky.” “And when are we allowed to wear them?” “On weekends.” And so the Velcro Stan Smiths go back on Jack’s feet while he looks achingly at his light-ups, counting the days until they can have their brief, private, unphotographed moment in the sun.
I know Ford designs gorgeous clothes, but my God, let your four-year-old son wear his light-up dino sneaks! I’m #TeamGenevieve in that I want this kid to rebel against his father by becoming “the grossest jock himbo the world has ever seen… Can you imagine Tom Ford getting totally frazzled that not only is his teenage son barfing all over the good couch but he’s barfing up BUD LIGHT?!?!”
(It gets worse: At one point, I asked Tom Ford if he owns sweatpants,
[…] and that did not go over well. He looked hard at me, trying to ascertain if I was kidding, and furrowed his brow; he has a great dermatologist and despite some filler and some Botox, he has a full range of movement in his face. I looked at him with wide eyes and an expectant smile, and once he determined that I was serious, he said no in a way that made me not follow up, then also “I mean, really, no” and “No, absolutely not.”
Ford then goes on about how he does sometimes wear a pair of white sweatpants, because he’s a member of a tennis club where the members are only allowed to wear white (CLASS. WARFARE.), though nobody “on the street sees him [in the sweatpants] because the driver pulls him right up to the club.” THE PLEBES. FORD WOULD DIE.
“I live in the Hollywood of the 1930s. I don’t actually live in the Hollywood of 2016.”
Direct me at a non-hipster doofus way to say this. Unless you’re a time traveler, it doesn’t exist.
L.A. is a harder city for style, in that so few people have it. As Ford puts it: “Here is the city of Los Angeles”—he holds his hands up, one above the other, about two feet apart—“and above them is an oil slick. The oil slick are the interesting, smart, intelligent people who are stylish, who you could have a conversation with, who’d want to be friends. Then”—and here he indicates the rest of the space—“you have morons.”
It is not easy to have his particular particularities and to exist among us regular people, in our shorts/loafers combinations, in our sweatpants and dinosaur sneakers. He is teaching us how to be perfect. When will we finally catch on?
Taffy Brodesser-Akner, if you’re reading this, I would like to buy you a lifetime supply of alcohol.