There is no photo in this post about Tom Ford's spring 2012 women's collection because once again, following his show, Ford has forbidden the release of such photos to the general public — you, his adoring fans. The editors and buyers invited to the London show were also strictly forbidden from leaking any images of the clothes or what went on inside that room to Twitter or Tumblr. That he manages to render the Internet and cell phones powerless for that hour or so is impressive. Yet one can't help but wonder if Ford's tactic to ensure that only his carefully curated group of fashion people sees his shows helps the reviews: If you make people feel quite special, will they find your work quite special too?
Sometimes. Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn, a known Ford fan, devoted just one and a half paragraphs of a six-paragraph blog post to Ford, with the rest of the column space going to praise for up-and-comer Thomas Tait. Horyn called Ford's collection "strong" and Tait "among the best" of London's young designers, offering his collection quite a bit of detailed praise. Then again, she had photos of Tait's work to aid her discussion, but not so of Ford's. To that end, the Telegraph's Lisa Armstrong did her best to sketch a couple of the looks, which was a cute way to cover the collection if not exactly telling of what it looks like — a "shame," she writes, because the detailing in the clothes was so great.
Yet there is a dissenter: Jess Cartner-Morley, who writes in the Guardian that Ford's show was "dull."
I'm going to come straight out with it. Deep breath: I didn't think Tom Ford's show was all that. Not that it was awful, by any means, but despite the beautiful tailoring and the immaculate execution it fell a little flat. It felt too self-referential. Too many frills and too few new ideas. There were gorgeous, curvy, super vamp dresses that I loved, but the flouncy peasant blouses and corset belts seemed like a Guilty Pleasures version of Tom Ford.
She goes on to say she's a big Ford fangirl and wishes her readers could see photos of the clothes to decide if they agreed with her. Again, there is that stubborn problem of all the people who aren't allowed to see the clothes: If you make them feel quite unspecial, will they also find your work quite unspecial?
London: Tom Town [On the Runway/NYT]
London Fashion Week: Tom Ford spring/summer 2012 [Telegraph UK]
Tom 'God' Ford has off day. Fashion world in denial [Guardian UK]