Tom Ford recently described his directing style to Gus Van Sant: "Give me the control, don't ever come on the set, and I'll show it to you when it's cut." Control comes naturally to Ford, 48, both in film--his first movie, A Single Man, was nominated for three Golden Globes and an Oscar--and in the eponymous menswear label and accessories line he launched after leaving Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. Ford's meticulous sets and wardrobe for the '60s-era drama were natural extensions of his neurotic zeal for every element of his growing brand. (He dictates the types of flowers that can appear in his stores and art-directs his own ad lay-outs.) But he surprised everyone with the inspired performances he summoned from actors Colin Firth and Julianne Moore. What's next? A much anticipated women's line and a second film project.