Marc Jacobs looks to '70s, Tom Ford guards his secrets

Marc Jacobs brought the 1970s back at New York Fashion Week's spring-summer 2011 show, while Tom Ford went back in time in another way - by dispensing entirely with modern publicity and showing his collection to only a rarified few.

Ford's women's show was a remarkable publicity coup in that the 49-year-old designer, a former artistic director at Gucci and Yves Saint-Laurent, got rid of the usual publicity and swore some 100 lucky guests to secrecy.

It took place on Sunday but was written about in select fashion media on Tuesday.

In an age where new collections are usually posted on the Internet within hours of being displayed on the runway, Ford allowed in only one photographer, Terry Richardson, whose images won't be available until December.

A documentary of the event at Ford's Madison Avenue boutique will also appear on Ford's website then.

Ford said the idea was to bring back the drama of fashion.

"I want fashion to be fun again, like it was in the '60s," he told the New York Times, which secured a coveted invitation. "You couldn't wait to get the clothes and put them on, and I think we've lost that."

The 32 models were not paid, according to the Times, and consisted of numerous celebrities, including former models Farida Khelfa and Emmanuelle Seigner, wife of film director Roman Polanski, and Lauren Hutton.

While giving away few concrete details, the Times fashion correspondent did allow a few teasers, including that singer "Beyoncé Knowles was wearing a smashing dress of gold and silver embroidered on black net."

Also, the Times let slip, "the clothes didn't look like Gucci, and they didn't really look like Yves Saint Laurent. To be sure they combined elements of both, but the fit was different and the glamour more intense. If the style referenced any period, it was the '20s."

The collection will go on sale next year in Tom Ford boutiques worldwide, a favorite shopping destination for actors Daniel Craig and Brad Pitt.

Marc Jacobs, the now rather establishment, one-time enfant terrible of US fashion, could hardly top Tom Ford's mysterious coup de theatre late Monday.

For once, Jacobs appeared in straightforward shirt and dark trousers, without a hint of his former liking for kilts or shorts.

But the designer, the artistic director at Louis Vuitton, is ever popular and fans poured into this show which as usual was not on the official Fashion Week calendar.

Here, Jacobs harked back to the 1970s with long skirts and shimmering satin jackets.

He managed to steal a few ideas like Missoni zigzags, YSL peasant blouses and Lanvin dresses. His belts were of broad leather with knots at the buckle and the young models wore huge summer hats in straw over charcoal-lined eyes, evoking the tragic young prostitute played by Jodie Foster in "Taxi Driver."

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