Tom Ford (Getty) Tom Ford (Getty)
As per usual, Tom Ford
forbid the presence of journalists and critics at his Spring 2012 show and did not permit any photographs of the collection to be made public. One might wonder: Is this the fashion equivalent of a producer not allowing critics to preview a movie before release for fear of scathing reviews?
Under the radar, however, a fortuitous few critics landed tickets to the uber-private presentation. We presume their reports back were exactly what Tom Ford was hoping to avoid. Jess Cartner-Morley of the Guardian
wrote: 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...seemed like a Guilty Pleasures version of Tom Ford.
Turns out, however, that was the kinder of Ford's feedback. Virginie Mouzat, a French fashion critic for Le Figaro
, didn't pull any punches as she described what she deemed to be a "nightmare" of a show. Translated from French: As soon as the first outfits came out, we were stunned by the dated quality of a collection that resembled his Gucci shows of more than ten years ago. The fussy complications of the cuts, the disheveled hairstyle of a girl barely back from happy hour, and the overdone makeup.
The review worsened as Mouzat described the outdated grade B imitations of designers like Celine and YSL. Most hard-hitting, however, was the critics description of the designer's finishing bow as he awaited a standing ovation that never came: After what looked like a shopping list for Kim Kardashian, Tom Ford came out...Everybody just looks at their feet. The music does not stop. Ford tries to speak above the noise, louder. We can't hear a thing...So Tom Ford retreats toward Anna Wintour and now it's she whom he decides to embrace. Troubling. This Texan playboy, lauded by journalists in the nineties, is now the designer people don't stand up for—when they are not fleeing him.
Alas, it's hard for us to give up hope that the legendary designer's collection will, in fact, astound us—in a good way.