Few shows received as much buzz last season as Tom Ford’s Spring/Summer 2011 womenswear collection, which marked the former Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent designer’s return to womenswear.
Unlike other A-list designers who have a slew of photographers at their runway shows, Ford did not allow a single photographer, other than Terry Richardson and his team of six, to snap a photo. The designer’s intimate presentation was host to only 100 guests, and took place in Ford’s Madison Avenue boutique, where Ford stocks his lip, fragrance, and men’s line. The collection was modeled by Ford’s muses: Lauren Hutton, Rachel Feinstein, Lou Doillon, Emmanuelle Seigneur, Julianne Moore, and Beyoncé.
Appropriately, Vogue was granted exclusive access to the first images, and they’re just as glamorous as you’d expect!
Shot by Steven Meisel, the gorgeous, 70s-inspired collection is, according to Ford, not meant for the Gucci girl he left behind. "She'd be too trendy," he has said. In addition to the select looks featured in the December issue of Vogue, Angelina Jolie is wearing Tom Ford on the cover.
When asked what drove the hyper-secret presentation, Ford told WWD:
"The way the system works now, you see the clothes, within an hour or so they’re online, the world sees them. They don’t get to a store for six months. The next week, young celebrity girls are wearing them on red carpets. They’re in every magazine. The customer is bored with those clothes by the time they get to the store. They’re overexposed, you’re tired of them.”
Ford is certainly on to something. The fact that shows take place out of season is beginning to alarm a number of designers, including Donna Karan and Elie Tahari, who have voiced their complaints.
Ford has explained that his target woman is fashionable, aged 25 to 75, and that in seasons to come, he will exclusively be inviting editors to his presentations – no news reporters or photographers. "I don't understand everyone’s need to see everything online the day after a show,” he said. Ford may be correct that instant gratification detracts from the clothing's appeal, but there’s no denying that the curiosity of the fashion-obsessed is relentless.
Photos courtesy of Steven Meisel/Vogue. For more images from the collection, visit vogue.com