"Beauty gives me great joy, but it also gives me great sadness," Tom Ford says in his new profile in the September issue of Vogue. But that seems to be just as well: "I always felt that if you’re happy, you’re just stupid," the self-described "hyper-hyper Virgo" added in between sharing tidbits like the fact that he's still vegan, though he now makes exceptions for sweets, and that he can't think when he's inside houses that are too vibrantly decorated. ("Color distracts me," he explained, simply.)
Of course, this being Tom Ford, the ultra-perfectionist designer was far from casual while delivering this latest batch of bon mots. (Even that time he did an interview "legs wide open, completely naked" was highly orchestrated—to teach the reporter a lesson about sexuality, no less.) This time around, Ford took a different, far less revealing approach: He not only sat down with Vogue fully clothed, but also went to great lengths to ensure that the left side of his face wasn't exposed. Read on for more of the designer's beauty-related quirks that he's unabashedly shared over the years, here.
Choose one side of your face, and stick to it.
Have you ever noticed that you've practically only ever seen Tom Ford's face from its right side? Probably not, which is part of the genius behind the strategy that Vogue witnessed the designer expertly employ. Ford, who turns 58 at the end of the month, explained that he's come to think of himself as an image, or a product. And, like any other image or product he's produced, he's learned how to display it at its most favorable angle over time.
Avoid cameras at noon, no matter where in the world you are.
"I don’t like the middle of the day," Ford told the New York Times of why he chooses to avoid events as elite as Bary Diller and Diane von Furstenberg's annual Oscars lunch. "Take a picture at noon, anywhere in the world. You’re going to look like hell—hell. Everybody looks like hell. Unless you’re 18, maybe, or under. Even then you don’t look your best. I like daylight, but not to go out in public."
Avoid overhead lighting at all costs.
"Why, oh my god, overhead light, where your brow is going to create shadow right there, your nose is going to create a shadow like this, you look like hell, you look like you have no hair, even if you have a lot of hair," Ford recently fumed to the New York Times. "Nobody looks good in overhead lighting," he continued. Hence why, if you make a trip to Tower Bar in Los Angeles, you'll find that the corner table where he usually sits is blacked out: "I told them, 'You have to get rid of that spot or I’m not going to come here. No overhead lights.'"
Extreme as that may sound, Ford isn't the only outspoken celebrity vampire hiding in plain sight. Mariah Carey claims to have "an extreme aversion" to overhead lighting, and once proclaimed that elevator lighting is "toxic."
Make sure your pockets aren't overstuffed.
This one comes courtesy of Tom Hanks, one of Ford's newfound (wannabe) disciples. While they enjoy a good chat about film, "of course I still ask him fashion questions like a pilgrim who has climbed a mountain in search of wisdom" Hanks told Vogue. "He has imparted the most simple of answers: Button the jacket, as it slims your form. Use the pockets, as a jacket is like a man’s purse—just don't get bulky."
Beware your suit's cut.
Just because Ford is a "huge fan" of Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg doesn't mean he's about to let Mayor Pete off easy. Shortly after first meeting Buttigieg, Ford texted his husband to point out that the mayor's generously cut suit made him appear rather small. (Buttigieg's campaign appears to have politely rejected the designer's advice.)
When in doubt, strip down.
"Being naked is the great equalizer; there are just less ways to screw up," Ford told W in 2005.