They said/We said: Tom Ford’s Spring 2012 collection photos are finally released to the public. What say you?

We don’t have to tell you that Tom Ford has special powers in the world of fashion, and that everything he’s touched—since making his name at Gucci in the mid-nineties to starting his own eponymous line a few years back—has turned to literal and figurative gold. For the past four seasons he has done a semi-private runway show during fashion week, invitation going to select press only, making his adoring fans wait at least two months to see the coveted wears. His collections usually garner great reviews, but for Spring 2012, and the first time probably ever, his grand plan might not have gone as well as planned.

Today, Vogue.com released photos of the collection, but based on reviews from editors and critics back in September, it already had a tainted reputation to contend with. Criticisms of the line were that the clothes drew too much on what Ford, and other designers, had already shown, but Vogue argues that these criticisms can be quieted on seeing the collection up close: “most revealing in this exclusive, first close-up look at Tom Ford’s new collection is the detail lost to the original viewers who saw the clothes momentarily swish by in the runway presentation.”

We think Ford caught wind of this gaff, and along with the photos of his collection he told Vogue that for Fall 2012 he’ll be holding ten small and personal presentations where he can explain each look to the press.

THEY SAID…

Vogue.com: “And, quite mesmerizingly, there’s the level of craftsmanship which has gone into the intricacies of minute feather embroidery on delicate open-work woven net on an ivory dress—really, that kind of luxe workmanship can only be properly marveled at when someone takes the time to explain it. Which is exactly what Mr. Ford has resolved to do when he invites his audience to his London showroom next February.” [Vogue]

Tom Ford: “I’ve streamlined things more this season. I think I’m very classic, because what I do is always based on something you’ve seen before. And yes, maybe there’s something YSL about it. When I left off designing for women, I was at YSL so I’m working through that to be me, asking myself, What do I like? What defines your brand?” [Fashionista]

Fashionista: “As for the clothes, well, you will have to wait until mid-January when the collection arrives at the stores to see images from this show. I sat so close to the models that I could actually see the detailed work of each garment. I can assure you that the women who buy these clothes will have a wide range of Mr. Ford’s signature silhouettes to choose from. Furthermore, I will say that customers will not see dramatic changes from one season to another–instead this collection seemed to progress from the one before (albeit at a slower pace than what is now expected of designers to churn out new collections every two months).” [Fashonista]

WE SAID…

Randi Bergman, online editor: “I would actually agree that the criticisms were a little harsh. No, the collection wasn’t directional or complicated in any way, but I’m not really sure that that’s what Tom’s about anymore. He’s about creating luxury, and the seventies appeal of this collection speaks to luxury in its most potent sense. As someone who saw the pieces up close myself, I would vouch for their appeal too.”

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