Tom Ford [left] and Thom Browne [right] contrast their trademark tuxedo tailoring
Among the more sparkling revelations of Tom Ford's Rules of Stylefeature in the new January Details, the designer mogul/film director/luminary of luxury less-than-crypticly divulges: "I hate the trend of short suit jackets. When a man’s butt is showing below the bottom of his jacket, I think it makes him look like a female flight attendant from the back— not my idea of sexy."
His collocated Bergdorf Goodman Men's second and third floor showdown with fellow American suitor Thom Browne may in fact serve as a microcosm of a greater vying over the definition of masculinity in the twenty-first century luxe market – and as such, a gallant battleground of sorts over whose modern cut will reign supreme in the sartorial propinquity. Although their rivalry over disparate design ideologies will suitably remain as gentlemanly as the made-to-order maestros themselves, when Mr. Browne was asked whether he would indeed triumph in a fist-to-cuffs fight with Mr. Ford, he famously boasted: "I'm a stubborn Irishman, so I'd probably win."
While his Central Park jogs (famously sporting his signature shrunken silhouette on every run) may help maintain his tiny physique, Thom's runway pursuits of the tennis leitmotif have done little to convince Suzy Menkes of his diminutive dissertation on crisp American menswear with his hallmark hoisted-up schoolboy proportions. Madame Menkes – who recently toured Tom Ford's new Milan menswear maison [below] – strayed from her usual propriety when describing what her fellow International Herald Tribune/New York Times fashion reporter Eric Wilson had just praised [above] by proclaiming Browne's Spring 2009 presentation as "a shriek for a shrink [rather] than a coherent vision of a new man with a newly filled closet." She asserted that he failed to properly infuse his trademark tailoring into his cuts at Brooks Brothers, instead lavishing on overly-literal, frivolous Roger Federer-inspired togs. Match point.