The day before Tom Ford's presentation, one of his models injured himself playing football. Given the time and effort fashion's consummate control freak would have invested in model selection, there was no way Tom was letting Igor go. He simply rustled up some Tom Ford crutches: i.e., he covered a standard-issue pair with velvet. As Igor hobbled by, Ford detailed the improv in one of his drolly self-aware asides. Like the one a few minutes earlier, when he described white as the new black—"though I don't want to sound corny."

Corny or not, white was the foundation of Ford's Spring collection, and it was one reason why the clothes were just about the most energized menswear statement he has made to date. That's because the other reason was that Ford went hog wild for color: to be specific, the kind of tones that sing when they're sat next to white. An eye-popping palette of lilacs, cobalts, pinks, turquoise, and jade—in patterns to match—was forceful enough to hold its own against the hurricane of color, pattern, and texture that Ford kicked off with his last women's collection. And his most decadent indulgences—the shawl-collar evening brocades, the silk smoking jackets, the elaborately embroidered shoes—looked quite literally brilliant in their shiny new shades.

With everything else that was going on, Ford was smart to keep his suits streamlined—nipped jacket, cuffed pants with a single pleat—and his sportswear classic, if a lacquered nylon anorak topping a white turtleneck and a swirling psychedelic swimsuit could be considered such. Well, maybe that would have been the case in the early seventies, a moment that continues to hold Ford in a powerful grip. So powerful, in fact, that you might almost wish our own era could surrender to its horny, confident sophistication, and make the real world go away. Then we could see what Tom sees. Until such transference occurs, this collection is more than enough to be going on with.