When Tom Ford showed his first namesake women’s collection, he made a big show of doing it his way, the retro way, which, as you can see from the first public images of the line appearing in next month’s Vogue, went with the seventies-tastic clothes. This is the first time the general public is getting to view images of the ultra-top-secret fashion that was, for probably most of the editors lucky enough to get invited to attend the presentation, the orgasm of New York Fashion Week. Ford said he wanted to show the way they did it in the good old days when there was no Internet, and there were no celebrities on the front row, and there weren’t big, fast fashion companies with the means to knock designers off before the clothes hit stores. He wants the public to be excited about the clothes when they hit stores, rather than feel tired of them after seeing them on Blake Lively, in online runway galleries, on someone from Twilight, and maybe on Suri Cruise before they are even close to going on sale. That is why he let only his own photographer — Terry Richardson — into the presentation to shoot the clothes, and only 100 select fashion editors, who got to watch the clothes on celebrity models like Beyoncé and Lauren Hutton with Tom Ford announcing each look.
Ford defended his anti-celebrity, anti-Internet position in Vogue:
“I do not understand everyone’s need to see everything online the day after a show,” he says. “I don’t think it ultimately serves the customer, which is the whole point of my business — not to serve journalists or the fashion system. To put something out that’s going to be in a store in six months, and to see it on a starlet, ranked in US magazine next week? My customer doesn’t want to wear the same thing she saw on a starlet!”
Perhaps Ford doesn’t understand because he doesn’t sit in front of a computer all day, hungry for anything to look at and G-chat about except his work, and doesn’t quite grasp that quirky “cat adopts dog” stories go only so far. Anyway, the ex-Gucci designer called his Gucci look “too trendy,” explaining that this collection is “about individuality. Real clothes, real women. For a fashionable woman aged 25 to 75. That’s why I literally put many of my own muses in the show. I hear them say, ‘God, I can’t find that anywhere!’ ” Ford said he plans to continue with his old-fashioned shows by financing them himself.
He had met with — and rejected — outside investors. “What I want is the freedom to say, I really like fashion and I’m going to come back my way and never have some corporate person say, ‘But you can’t do it that way.’ My goal,” he enunciates with dead seriousness, “is to be like Armani and Chanel.”
For future seasons, Ford will invite editors — no news reporters or photographers allowed — to his London showroom to view the collections. The designer, who is working on his second film, a comedy, will allow his clothes on the Oscars red carpet: “I’ll wait to see who’s nominated for the Oscars. Then I will offer to dress one person.” Ooh, that person can be like the Vogue of the Oscars! “Get a load of me, I’m exclusive.com!”