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Tom Ford's First Womenswear Collection Has Arrived on Madison

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Yesterday wasn't just your average Monday. No, yesterday will go down in history as the Monday on which Tom Ford's much-anticipated womenswear collection officially launched. Given the elevated levels of intrigue following the designer's top secret, celebrity-filled runway show last September, we were curious to see what ended up in on the sales floor, so we headed to Ford's Madison Avenue boutique to find out.

One of the storefront windows gives passersby a taste of the collection with the black and white leopard trouser suit rocked by Amber Valletta in the runway show. Inside, the luxury and exclusivity in the air was palpable. A staffer peeking out from behind a laptop greeted us from an official-looking reception desk in the entry foyer and directed us up a winding plush staircase to where the womenswear resides.

All discerning eyes were on us as we ascended, as we were outnumbered about fifteen to one by extremely polished sales associates, one of whom ended up tailing us the entire time as if we were suburban teenagers skulking about the makeup aisle in a local CVS. (At least a dishy male staffer who offered us a glass of champagne took the edge off a bit.) Needless to say, it was virtually impossible to take photos. Luckily, there's always the look book featuring big name celebs for reference.

The sexy-for-daytime wear is located to the right of the staircase. We first perused the sleek black leather, gold-zippered moto jacket and skirt ensemble modeled by Julia Restoin Roitfeld in last fall's show. The leather is just as decadently soft and supple as you would imagine. There are also more versatile, wearable looks on offer, like the structured white trench worn by Freja Beha Erichsen in the Vogue spread. We didn't really bother looking at the price tags (file it all under "aspirational"), but a black turtleneck was around $1350.

Of course, the evening gowns were what we really wanted to fondle. Their room feels like the opulent boudoir of a fashion-obsessed hedge fund wife (or girlfriend). Glorious floor length gowns dripping with silky gossamer fringe (like the cream and red number worn by Karen Elson in Vogue) hung on the racks. They were lustrous to the touch, although we noticed that they're much more sheer than they seem in the photos. The sylphlike cobalt blue frock that the flame-haired model/singer wore in the runway show is more opaque, and also comes in a longer length.

The gold-toned mother-of-pearl sequined jacket modeled by Stella Tennant in the show was just as magnificent as you can imagine, but was surprisingly delicate and feather-light to the touch. We caught a peek at the price tag of the structured bronze über-cleavage-bearing scoop neck cocktail dress (which also comes in a glistening black)—it'll set you back about $6000.

The world was so excited about the clothes that the launch of Tom Ford women's shoes was nearly eclipsed. All the shoes featured in the show—like the satin peep-toe ankle-tie stiletto ballet pump in a rosy pink, classic black, and lipstick red—are on offer. We also admired an intricately molded gold peep-toe stiletto shootie and a delicate black peep-toe bootie embellished with unfettered feathery fringe. There were also more conservative slingback, kitten heel styles for your every day Tom Ford wear.

The plush and elegant handbag collection is also housed upstairs. We're pretty gutted that we couldn't covertly snap a few pics in here, either, but about five sales staffers were on watch in this room. You can catch a glimpse of a few of the styles in the look book, such as the croc envelope clutch (in slick black and chocolate brown) and the fabulously fringey pochette in black.

The experience was a tad intimidating, but worth the effort. Here's a breakdown for you. Bronze cocktail frock: $6000+, a flute of champers: gratis, experiencing Tom Ford's master work in person while being shadowed by an appropriately proper staffer: priceless.
· Tom Ford's Womenswear Collection Launches on March 1 [Racked NY]
·Tom Ford [Official Site]