Tom Ford has slammed actresses who don't want to be asked about their dresses on the red carpet.

The 56-year-old designer insists he wouldn't supply gowns to stars for high profile events if he wasn't going to get any publicity for his creations.

Asked about stars who say they want to talk about more ''important'' issues than their outfits, he said: ''I don't dress those people. If I give you a free dress and someone asks who it is, you need to say who it is. Otherwise, why am I giving you a free dress?

''If I'm giving you a free dress, it's an ad. So if someone says, 'What dress are you wearing?', you should say, 'Tom Ford. And he's great. He made this for me, and we had a conversation and I love yellow and he made me a yellow dress.' I don't know. That's kind of the idea.''

And Tom admitted designing for the red carpet has grown increasingly frustrating because it involves so little of an actress' ''personal style'' and is more about the image their team wants to project.

He told WWD: ''There was a time when actresses went to the Oscars in clothes they bought. Remember that? Back in the Seventies? Actually, you had a lot more personal style.

''There's some things in my women's show you'll see next week, and I thought, 'If someone had the guts, this is what they should wear on the red carpet.' But nobody's going to wear it because they want a strapless thing with a built-in corset that fits them at the waist and is in a pretty colour and they can put their jewellery with it, that they've got the jewellery contract for, and they've got to do their hair in a little chignon at the back and it's got to have just so many little pieces sticking out.

''It's just - ugh. I'm getting to the point where I actually hate dressing individuals for the red carpet...

''Because now, you're not only working with an actress. You're working with a stylist and then the agents are looking at it and then their husbands and boyfriends are looking at pictures and everyone takes a picture of it and da, da, da, da, da. 'Do we like it?' and, 'But what does it mean if she wears pink? What does that say about her? Does that say she's an ingénue? She shouldn't be an ingénue, she's got that film coming out; we need to portray her in a more grown-up way. So let's do her in navy blue.' Oh, my God! I mean, I don't know why people need designers anymore for a red carpet.''

But the designer doesn't often get asked to work on red carpet wear anymore because he refuses to pay celebrities to wear his dresses.

He said: ''It's different for me because almost every single actress has a contract, so there are almost no actresses to dress. I don't do [contracts].

''I make the clothes, I give them the clothes, they wear the clothes and then I usually get them back because I archive them. I keep an archive of all the things of mine celebrities have ever worn.

''But I don't pay celebrities to wear my clothes, and almost everyone this season -- Best Actress, Best Actor, Supporting -- they almost all have a contract.''

Asked if he'd consider a contract, he said: ''No. A, those contracts cost almost as much as a fashion show. I mean, are you really getting enough bang for your buck? I don't know. And B, no, I just [don't like the idea].''