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.