Tom Ford: new women’s + a change in tack

Update: you can now view the full Tom Ford women’s spring 2012 collection at the gallery after the break.

He’s been more than happy to let it be known that he likes to approach the fashion industry differently. He shuns public catwalks and bans the guests he does invite to his closed-door events from taking or sharing photos. Even more far removed from the rest of the fashion industry, his work’s presence on the Internet is heavily downplayed as if it were felt that the notion of a luxury brand being a dominant player in a digital space is something to but test the water with.

Despite all this I have to ask: is Tom Ford changing tack with his spring 2012 fashion collection?

It might very well be the case.

Despite having long been perceived as a man who places his fortune in the hands of print media, Tom Ford has turned to Vogue America’s foray into the world of digital media to launch his women’s spring / summer 2012 collection. To be sure, it’s still a feature in the old media that is such a bedrock of Ford’s worldview. Equally, the fact that a look book is published within a digital publication before a print one is part-and-parcel of modern fashion. Such a step for Ford however, seems like a marked departure from his usual marketing pitch, and the fact that his spring 2012 look book features at such low digital quality on Vogue’s site makes it seems like an equal departure from his usual attention-to-detail persona.

Away from the marketing aspect, now that it’s available for all to see (if not yet buy), what can we perceive Tom Ford’s spring / summer 2012 collection as offering up? Exactly what you’d expect. Ford’s collections are often devoid of the narrative thread that runs through other luxury house’s collections. Actually, that’s unfair. This collection is not devoid of a narrative, just a overt theme. Take a step back and the narrative is certainly there: Tom Ford includes the looks, as opposed to the story, in his collections he felt were best for the season. For that coming season that means that many a piece has a sexual edge, that 70s revivalism abounds and that the quality is obvious, and yet the pieces are equally devoid of an ostentatious edge. These aren’t looks that will set the world on fire, and yet it equally feels as if that was the point. A downplayed launch for a downplayed collection, if you will.

You can now view the full look book of Tom Ford’s spring / summer 2012 women’s collection at the gallery above, while a full look at it is also available in the video below.

tom ford womens spring 2012

tom ford women ss12

tom ford women dress spring 2012

tom ford ss12 women