Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

If there is one happening I wished I'd attended last fashion week it was Tom Ford's debut own label womenswear show held in New York. Sadly, I didn't make the cut of the 80 most important fashion editors in the world, and was denied the thrill of seeing Beyonce on the runway. Still, there is always next season.

The irony is not lost on me or anyone else in the luxury fashion business that Tom Ford timed the release of his images in print and online (they hit the web in a big way today, courtesy of Harpers Bazaar and the Daily Telegraph), to minimise the possibility of the clothes being copied by the high street.

There wasn't even a chance for a sneaky peek at the clothes in advance of the publication of the images shown here because Ford banned the audience from taking pictures. Ford's closed door approach to publicising his collection is the opposite to Marc Jacobs, who welcomes all comers. Marc Jacobs Spring/Summer 2011 collection is the most copied by the British high street, a fact I am sure he loves.  Tom Ford on the other hand is making super-expensive dresses for very wealthy women, and tightly controlling how and where we see the work, exactly how it worked in the old days of Haute Couture.

 He explained his thinking to US Vogue: "I do not understand everyone's need to see everything online the day after a show. I don't think it ultimately serves the customer, which is the whole point of my business--not to serve journalists or the fashion system. To put something out that's going to be in a store in six months, and to see it on a starlet, ranked in US magazine next week? My customer doesn't want to wear the same thing she saw on a starlet!"

Hmm. Wonder if he has a list of people he won't sell to?

Or Or maybe the animal print suit?

Tom Ford has really taken his time to build his own brand. First scent. Then sunglasses. Next some verrry high end menswear, and finally...finally he asks his friends Beyonce, Lauren Hutton and Daphne Guinness as well as woman supermodels to walk in a salon show which he comperes like a beauty pageant caller.

'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!"

‘There used to be a look for women who were older,' he told Harpers Bazaar, published next week. 'You didn’t wear certain things, you did your hair a certain way – but today, 70-year-old women who keep themselves together want to look just like their 25 [year-old] counterpart."

'I want this to be somewhere a woman knows she can go when she wants a great jacket—not a fake expensive jacket, something that has intrinsic value.
'I don’t think fashion has to change every five minutes. I’d like these to be clothes you can wear for a long time—ten, 20 years; pass on to your daughter. Why buy vintage when you can open your own closet!'

I say why buy Tom Ford when you can buy vintage?
My favourites are the animal print trouser suit and the sequin jacket and pendant on Stella Tennant.

All quotes from US Vogue/Harpers Bazaar UK.