Tom Ford and Julianne Moore Discuss Working Together

Tom Ford and Julianne Moore Discuss Working Together

Designer-filmmaker Tom Ford and actor Julianne Moore have a history of working together. Moore starred in Ford’s 2009 film A Single Man and routinely wears his designs on the red carpet. (Who could forget the chic black-and-white number she wore to the 2013 Golden Globes, among other winning Ford creations?).

And at Vogue’s Forces of Fashion conference in New York City, the two friends sat down to discuss a range of topics, including their shared Hollywood successes, working together, how fashion has changed with social media, and what the future of American design looks like.

Below, the must-read highlights from their conversation.

Moore on Her Relationship With Ford

“Of all the people that I know and I’ve worked with, I get asked about [Tom] more than anybody else. [He’s] someone who has achieved so much. People admire him, and they’re like, ‘Who is this guy? What is the mystery of Tom Ford?’ He’s much more human, normal, and easy than you would imagine. Tom is direct. He gives you the information. You say, ‘Tom, I don’t know what to wear,’ and he’ll say, ‘You need to wear this. The armhole is too big. The neck should be here on you.’”

Ford on How Fashion Has Changed

“Nobody wants to wear clothes. It’s changed a lot since I first started in fashion. People wore real, proper clothes all day long. And then you also changed into proper clothes for evening. Now, people wear T-shirts, jeans, maybe a great pair of shoes, a great jacket, and a bag—no matter who you are. Fashion is consumed in such a different way. You used to have trends in fashion where platforms were the shoe, and they stayed the shoe for two or three years. Now, everything is in fashion all at the same time—fashion, stilettos. There’s more freedom and expression of who you are.”

Moore on the First Time She Met Ford

“When I first met Tom, it was in 1998; it was the first time I was nominated for an Academy Award. My baby was two months old. I wasn’t really in Tom Ford shape. I came into the Beverly Hills Hotel and I was really nervous because I was going to meet this giant of American fashion, and here I am with my baby. The first thing Tom did was pick up my little boy—who’s now 21—and said, ‘I want one of these.’” (“I finally have one,” Ford retorted.)

Ford on the Difference Between Designing and Directing

“They’re very similar. If you are a designer or a creative director of a large company, which I have been for a long time, you have to have a vision, and you have to have the most creative people around you that you can have. You have to find a way to help them be their best selves, and to bring out their best performance. And then you have to guide and lead these people to ultimately fulfill your vision.”

Moore on Starring in Ford’s A Single Man

“As an actor, there’s nothing worse than a friend of yours saying, ‘Hey, I have a script.’ Tom and I ran into each other at the Met, and I asked how his movie was going, and he said, ‘Can I send you the script?” I thought, Oh no. But he sent it to me and I read it, and it was absolutely perfect.” (Ford explained that he wrote the part specifically for Moore.)

Ford on the Insular Nature of American Fashion

“I lived in Europe for the last 28 years. I moved back two years ago. And I can feel myself already becoming less aware of the world. When you turns on the news, all it is is America, America, Trump, Trump, Trump. We don’t have the same perspective that Europeans and people in Asia have. We don’t have a global perspective, and that’s so important because we are all in the same world.”

Ford on Dressing for Instagram

“The things that photograph well on Instagram are maybe things that in real life can look a little silly. It’s caused us to become slightly cartoon-like. You need that traffic quality, something that will read as an image. Less and less, we react to each other in a real way. Instagram leaves you feeling ugly, fat, inadequate, dull, pathetic, sad. It makes you want to just jump off a building. But I like the ads! I buy a lot of things from them.”

Moore on Shopping More Strategically

“My New Year’s resolution was to stop shopping. I realized I wasn’t shopping with any thought behind it. There was so much consumption, and I was like, ‘What would happened if I stopped for a year?’ What’s happened is it’s forced me to go deeper into what I own and to wear what I have. And if I’m like, ‘Why don’t I wear those shoes? Oh, because I hate them.’ Then I can get rid of the shoes. Not shopping is helping me refine my taste, consume less and more thoughtfully, and to avoid fast fashion.”

Ford on Customers Getting Personal

“I had a woman slap me one time because her shoe heel broke. She took it so personally. I was standing in front of the Beverly Hills Hotel waiting to get into a car, and a woman came up and slapped me and said, ‘I bought your shoes and wore them to an event, and the heel broke and I looked like a complete fool.’ She thought I had decided to personally ruin her night by making that heel break. It was scary.”

Ford on His Definition of Success

“Success is being satisfied with yourself as a person. It’s feeling that you have done good in the world. It’s choosing what you want to be in the world, how you want to relate to other people. If you’re happy and satisfied with whatever you’re doing, you can’t measure it by materialism.”