Fashion Designer: Tom Ford

An American in Paris--and London--and with creations all over the world, he has put the frisson back in Gucci and is extending his reign with Yves Saint Laurent

There are things in the world that never change: gravity, the sine rule, your mother's opinion of your spouse. And then there are things that last just an instant: a dance, a meal, Heath Ledger's career. Fashion belongs squarely in the latter category. To do fashion well, one has to master the momentary, to catch time in a bottle green, double-faced cashmere maxicoat. This is almost harder than making something timeless, because as the moment changes, so must the designer, and he must understand each bank and shoal of time equally well. "The moment of a great dress is a moment,"...

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