I've viewed this and several other documentaries of Tom Ford over the years, and have been reluctant to write anything about him until now, as I have realized that I could probably wait forever and never have a "right" moment to begin to delve into why I feel pretension and confidence are vital to all artists.
Simply put, there MUST be a degree of pretension.
Even if it is self-acknowledged, it needs to be present, for that carries the self-confidence towards a higher level, a personal goal to create what is truly unique and special simply for the fact that as in life, every human being IS a different point of view of the world. There MUST be pretension in all art, and those who deny it or pretend it doesn't exist (acting in a manner in which it is not part of the every-day process), is a sham. The bullshit-artists in the world are only revealed as "bullshit artists" when they are acting contrary to their own convictions and too aware of the perception others might be reflecting from them. In all things, and especially in artistic endeavors, being true to oneself and accepting, loving and RELISHING that, is what fosters success in a field over-saturated with poseurs.
What I love about Mr. Ford is his willingness to admit the ludicrous nature of his work.
"I do struggle because I'm attracted to beautiful things, yet at the same time, I am actually very aware, in some sense, their lack of value."
This is a man who is all at once playing the role of the CEO of an innately-pretentious business in a naturally-pretentious industry, as well as the salesman of his own humanity.
"I could absolutely die tomorrow, I would not care. Because I feel like I've lived, I feel like I've had a great life…I'm at peace enough with having lived and having experienced that death doesn't freak me out at all."
So much of this is trite and full of shit, but equally poignant and important. Mr. Ford is the epitome of everything that is significant of an artist. Unabashedly full of himself and fully believing his own lines and yet also completely and outwardly aware of the impossibly high importance of what exactly it is that he is creating. This is all about clothes and fragrances. A truly "great life" needs none of this. A great life is, however, ENHANCED by all of this, and Tom Ford's part in this life, in this "window," is filled for those fortunate enough to find themselves equipped to acquire them.
I have nothing but the highest respect and admiration of this man and for what he has accomplished in his own vision is the envy of countless people who will never be endowed with the natural talent of a true artist simply because of his ability to feel approachable and untouchable at all times, in one person.
Tom Ford is incredibly special and for all of his posturing, backs up everything he is humble and boastful about with tangible items worth 10x their weight in gold. His art is out in the world and worth so much currency because of it's uniqueness, just as a painting or sculpture in any museum in the world. He talks the talk, and walks the walk. To me, it is impossible not to be inspired and intrigued by it all.
No conclusion. There is none, because in life, nothing is finished.