Tom Ford’s secret womenswear collection is finally revealed

Tom Ford’s comeback to womenswear after a six year absence ­is fashion meganews. However the most highly anticipated fashion launch in recent years left fashionistas out on the pavement as only the most V of VIPs were invited to the exclusive event.

When Ford showed the collection in New York on September 12 only 100 fashion royalty guests were invited, photographers weren’t given access and he banned all journalists from revealing the collection. The newly elusive designer, who created the sexed-up Gucci/YSL look in the nineties, is doing things differently this time. In an interview with US Vogue he claims that he despises sections of the press and he objects to the way the internet eats up fashion images before the clothes can be bought. His decision to host an anti-publicity runway tossed bloggers, Twitterers and reporters into a quagmire of frustration. My own report on the non-collection was similarly vague.

However, just weeks before the collection hits stores, the veil surrounding Ford’s spring/summer 2011 collection has been pulled down as the images have finally been released in US Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

It turns out that the rumours circulating were true. Ford’s most glamorous friends and acquaintances, spanning Hollywood, music, society, and high fashion, had all dropped everything to fly in and model for him. Beyoncé Knowles, Lauren Hutton, Liya Kebede, Rinko Kikuchi, Stella Tennant, Amber Valletta, Natalia Vodianova, Karen Elson, Karlie Kloss, Abbey Lee Kershaw and Julianne Moore, amongst others, showcased a collection which reminded onlookers of Ford’s best collections for Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent.

“There’s a continuity from what I was doing at YSL at the end; that’s the customer,” Ford told US Vogue. “It’s 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!’ ”

The full interview with Tom Ford appears in the January issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK, out December 6.