Yes, the fashion industry is just like high school, and Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn not only said it but proved it this morning with an article detailing, in no less than 1,400 words, her own petty squabble with designer Giorgio Armani. Aramani appears to be, by far, the pettier of the two, having banned Horyn from his fashion shows over a rough review in January and having sent a bitchy letter to her bosses. But Horyn has also been catty, writing repeated melodramatic accounts of the feud and casting Armani as something of a 1980s has-been, even as she puts on analytical airs. Here's a quick summary, in Horyn and Armani's own words, of their hissy little slapfest:
Reliably obtuse New York Times writer, Cathy Horyn, has surpassed herself this time. Here's the latest lede from the fashion critic: "If fashion strikes people as a separate language, if not a funny Xanadu, it's hardly surprising. The last days of the fall ready-to-wear season were loud and lugubrious, with designers talking in volumes." Translation, anyone?
Lynn Hirschberg unloads in this weekend's Times' T mag on how all the moguls dress terribly nowadays; she lumps in the sometimes-bad dresser Barry Diller with the frequent offender Harvey Weinstein. "Scientists should stop investigating the links between fat friends, fast food and obesity and concentrate on the pernicious impact of stretch fabric. When a waistband can give and give, why should anyone stop eating? When a shirt does not need to be tucked in, who cares about the belly beneath?" Well... true! But she goes on to note that if lady-moguls dressed this poorly, their business choices would get seriously questioned. So did she miss the last two years of everyone asking if Harvey had lost it, having thrown an empire in the trash and all? And also that thing a couple weeks ago, when her fashion critic colleague Cathy Horyn called Harvey a "bearish hetero"?
A few months ago, the Times decided to ramp up some of their more lucrative "verticals" on their website—including Fashion and Style. They had lots of ideas, which they put on the company wiki for everyone to read and comment on. But did all of their plans come to fruition? Well, let's just say we were spared the disaster that inevitably would have been an Alex Kuczynski blog. The wiki, and what really happened, follow.
Times fashion critic and On The Runway blogger has been kicking up controversy of late, but a recent blog post may be her most shocking yet. Yes, more shocking even than the scathing critiques that got her banned from the shows of Carolina Herrera, Nicole Miller, and Dolce & Gabbana: she tackled a topic that's as taboo in fashion as as a Marxist reading of Julia Kristeva is in a post-Lacanian study group! We speak, of course, of eating food. "Someone on the blog was nice to mention these cookies, so here's the recipe. I make them at Christmas but I think they're pretty good any time. The amount of bacon fat is accurate — appalling but accurate —and I recommend you use a basic supermarket brand bacon. Don't get fancy, and you'll go straight to heaven." But you will no longer fit into your size zero toga when you arrive there, that's for darn sure.
Have you ever imagined fashion to be a world of glitz and glamour ruled by German men with tight pants and little dogs and people who say things like "ponced around" with a straight face? Well, if Times fashion editor Cathy Horyn's blog is anything to go by, congrats. Those stereotypes you based on too many viewings of 'Zoolander' and 'Funkyzeit mit Bruno'? They're totally true.
On the contrast between a hockey game and the Raf Simons show:
• That Cathy Horyn correction? It was a big "fuck you" to Styles editor Trip Gabriel. [WWD]
• Time is an important magazine that must innovate if it wants to stay relevant. This burst of obviousness brought to you by, yes, Jon Friedman. [Marketwatch]
• Friends of Janice Min want you to know that putting Whitney Houston on the cover of Us Weekly was Jann Wenner's idea. Jann Wenner's bad idea. [Radar]
• Jack Shafer wants more and better rowbacks. [Slate]
• Fired Fox news baseball analyst Steve Lyons isn't racist against Hispanics; it's the Jews he can't stand. [USAToday]
Last Thursday, in her personal piece de resistance, Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn could not overstate the sheer awesomeness of haute whores and popular DJs the MisShapes, stating that their Bolivian-slim frames and bowl-shaped haircuts had influenced Dior Homme designer Hedi Slimane's July runway show. Slimane, however, took issue with the attribution:
While Fashion Week is a time of creative achievement and sartorial glory, it's also a time to hold grudges and grovel for mercy. After writing an unfavorable review of Carolina Herrera's previous collection this past February, Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn was not invited to this year's show (and that's exactly what you get for insulting a designer's ruching). A bold move for Herrera — but shutting out Horyn is a fresh new approach to this season's classic minimalism.
For the record, the end of days officially began at MisShapes, August 19th, 2006. Pictured above at said location are Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn and designer/walker Narciso Rodriguez.
While in Paris for the couture shows, Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn went golfing with perhaps the only man on earth who could comprehend her prattling on about how she longs for "le pouf," Anna Wintour's mantoy Shelby Bryan. As if that weren't awkward enough, Horyn wore her golf attire to the shows:
The NYT's Cathy Horyn reviews two recently released books about Ralph LaurenGenuine Authentic (HarperCollins), by Michael Gross, and Ralph Lauren: The Man, the Vision, the Style (Rizzoli), by Colin McDowell. McDowell's book, a not-so-sophisticated exercise in literary brownnosing, portrays Lauren as a Bronx-born Horatio Algier who "mesmerizes the American public." (I don't recall ever being mesmerized by a Polo shirt, but I'm not saying it can't happen.) Gross's book is much less flattering. The Ralph Lauren portrayed in Genuine Authentic is a cranky narcissist followed by hordes of "Poloroids" who exacerbate his moodiness by failing to sufficiently praise him. Both books evoke an image of Lauren as Jay Gatsby. For McDowell, it's the glamorous, charming, and charismatic Gatsby. For Gross, it's the delusional, asocial, and reckless Gatsby.
Chasing the threads in the life of Ralph Lauren [NYT]
Diana Vreeland is So Over, declares the NYT's Cathy Horyn. If today's fashion designers want to escape cliché, she argues, they must be willing to respond to the current political and cultural environment. (Models catwalking down the runway with squeegees?)
Designers, forget Vreeland. Look at your own world. [NYT]