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29-06-2009
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^ That's what I like about her as well. Even when I don't agree with her take on a collection, she presents her opinion well enough that I can usually admit that her criticism is valid.

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29-06-2009
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Cathy Horyn is an exceptional fashion journalist.
She is a good writer. Her writing is clear in style and intellectually stimulating.
She has a very good grasp on the current political and social situation, which obviously helps her construct very thought-provoking reviews.

The quality I admire the most in her reviews, though, is her ability to look at every situation "correctly". She has said it before herself. Every collection, depending on the situation of the brand, receives a different kind of scrutiny.

Another excellent skills she has as a "fashion critic" is to be able to recognize and understand good DESIGN, in a world, where fashion blogs focus on instantly desirable clothes.

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Last edited by Pastry; 29-06-2009 at 01:09 AM.
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29-06-2009
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....Tim Blanks is another individual who makes very very valid points and has the ability to gain insight into the psychology of a collection. He either takes the words right out of your mouth, or lays out the facts so beatifully, you're left feeling lame.

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"...buttoned up to the breast, and made with wings, welts, and pinions on the shoulder points, as mans apparel is for all the world...and though this be a kinde of attire appropriate onely to man, yet they blush not to wear it..."
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29-06-2009
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^ To me this has ALWAYS what distinguishes between good and bad fashion critics.

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29-06-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pastry View Post
....Tim Blanks is another individual who makes very very valid points and has the ability to gain insight into the psychology of a collection. He either takes the words right out of your mouth, or lays out the facts so beatifully, you're left feeling lame.
i cannot agree more. tim blanks also alerts the viewer to some of the other things going on at the house -- historically and in the moment -- that inform the collection. his coverage of the balenciaga spring 2003 collection and his interpretation of the scuba experience as something erotic made me look at that collection IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT LIGHT than i ever would have on my own. that's criticism at its height.

simply saying something to the effect of "carolina herrera is irrelevant" is criticism at its lowest ebb. i mean, we can say that here as a gut reaction, but i'm sorry, i expect more from a new york times columnist who has sat through her show. like, why say anything at all?

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29-06-2009
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I will admit to glossing over commercially successful collections that break little ground. Perhaps critics have the same problem but have to write something regardless, especially when they have columns and sites. Ms. Wintour has the luxury of evading all that is not standard for her publication but that is the norm.

In this day and age of Project Runways and twitter, everything is scrutinized by not just the established critics but the world at large. It has regretfully turned fashion into some sort of circus competition, WHICH IT IS NOT.

I always say creativity is not a race.

One really shouldn't compare designers (as I often read on TFS) but one can fall prey to this in the heat of viewing show after show...

Ms. Horyn did not mention that fashion presentations have always had restricted viewings and in the early days even required payment from sketchers (who would eventually copy and sell the designs). Selection is nothing new. From a designer's point of view, why waste a seat on someone who will denounce the work you have spent half a year producing. These days, a collection can be torn apart in 24 hrs, months before the public has first hand experience in the stores! Business is business after all...

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29-06-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeijames View Post
i cannot agree more. tim blanks also alerts the viewer to some of the other things going on at the house -- historically and in the moment -- that inform the collection. his coverage of the balenciaga spring 2003 collection and his interpretation of the scuba experience as something erotic made me look at that collection IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT LIGHT than i ever would have on my own. that's criticism at its height.

simply saying something to the effect of "carolina herrera is irrelevant" is criticism at its lowest ebb. i mean, we can say that here as a gut reaction, but i'm sorry, i expect more from a new york times columnist who has sat through her show. like, why say anything at all?
The problem with Tim Blanks however is that he tries to get so "informative" (isn't he more of a reported, rather than a critic?) that when there's really nothing to talk about, you feel like his just trying to keep up with an established word count (i'm thinking way overintelectualized reviews on rather lame dsquared shows)
I guess it has to do with how style.com works.
The "review+full collection+backstage+close ups+video" structure is very useful in terms of comparing one collection to another, yes. however, in a supposedly creative field as fashion, one misses a bit of an adhocratic approach to their way of covering fashion weeks.
It all sends such a puzzle-like message of a lack of freedom that i can't help wondering how detailed their output procedures are. in other words, is it them speaking, or the conde nast advertisement contracts?
While the written reviews hardly point out any negative remarks of the collections (one bit of it prevented them from getting to D&G for quite some time), i can't even think of a video that ever has (which yet again makes me think of him more as a reviewer than someone who does criticism)

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29-06-2009
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^ It's tricky with Style.com because some of their "critics" act as reporters and end up writing a summary of a collection more than an actual analysis.

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30-06-2009
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Silence and neglect are very powerful tools used by Anna Wintour who has adopted the most business minded approach as a fashion critic. This is very important to fashion houses especially when their advertising is virtually ineffective next to a 600 word slaying by an editor.

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30-06-2009
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^You're right, but not all editors can use that tool. It works for Anna W. because shes a very well established editor with a huge reputation and works for one of the most prestigious fashion magazines in the world. If a random editor from another magazine tried this method it wouldnt work because they're just not important enough for designers to worry about.

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30-06-2009
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Originally Posted by Squizree View Post
^You're right, but not all editors can use that tool. It works for Anna W. because shes a very well established editor with a huge reputation and works for one of the most prestigious fashion magazines in the world. If a random editor from another magazine tried this method it wouldnt work because they're just not important enough for designers to worry about.
cathy horyn could CERTAINLY afford to do this. here's one of her latest blog posts which made my vein throb over givenchy:

Quote:
June 26, 2009, 8:27 pm
Paris: Boys Town
By Cathy Horyn


Tonight, as the spring men’s collections rolled on, John Galliano used an abandoned public swimming pool as the setting for a show that made reference to Napoleon Bonaparte, Lawrence of Arabia (the Peter O’Toole Lawrence), Abel Gance, and the photographs of Wilhelm von Gloeden. Let us board another magic carpet! Been there, done that, even if Galliano’s staging is amusing—with an assist from the genius of makeup artist Pat McGrath. The clothes, or at least the styling of the clothes, lightly evoked images of tribal leaders, giving the show a contemporary news wash.
The day was long, and decidedly a mixed bag. Strong collections included Junya Watanabe, who focused on the trim, boyish, waist-nipped jacket (shown with white trousers), and Comme des Garcons, where suit jackets had a patchwork of materials, including tie silks. Rei Kawakubo also had vivid collage-print trousers, and white jackets with black plaited trim around the edges.


Viewed straight-on, Rick Owens’ clothes may seem a bit ho-hum, but the silhouette is actually interesting—the insect male treading out in black leather vests with necklines that puffed at the back, a kind of half skirt over soft trousers, and new variations on his chunky black trainers. With so many designers doing some version of North African or Middle Eastern trousers and layers, or imitating the languid-effete style of Lanvin, here is Owens projecting his own hard vision of the contemporary male. His men’s collections seem to allow him another creative outlet, and he’s making the most of it.


I found Riccardo Tisci’s collection for Givenchy just plain tedious. Heavy layers, black and white trousers in broken star patterns, gold metal stars scattered across tops, gold chain mesh t-shirts: a chaotic collection that tried to bully you into thinking this banal stuff was loaded with contemporary significance. Who were these dudes? On the whole, the clothes made me think of footballers who wear free designer clothes.
Raf Simons held his show at twilight, on a beautiful terrace overlooking a garden. Four or five dark suits opened the show, identical to ones he presented last season. So he was continuing the tailoring story. I’ll have more to say about the collection tomorrow, but Simons is really holding a separate conversation here. He focused on silhouette (all about the belted waist and shoulders), beautiful fabrics, a sophisticated taste level and an extraordinary sense of military-like precision. All elements you don’t find elsewhere.


Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company
in a season where you could literally go to any barneys/ron herman/jeffrey and re-create the watanabe look from pieces on the sales rack, how dare she call tisci's work BANAL. also, there's something elitist -- almost racist -- about her footballers' remark: which footballer -- and i guess she means soccer players since we don't refer to them as footballers in the country in which she gets published -- receives free clothes from any fashion house in this recession? or is that some sort of over-intellectualized swipe at the beckhams of the world who get clothes -- i don't know -- for actually modeling for high fashion houses? okay, i'm done ranting.

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30-06-2009
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I read that review!! And I felt so bad for Tisci. I think he's been doing a great job lately. And even most of his collections dont really reflect the original vision of Givenchy I still think he's right for the label. I find him a very fashion-forward individual and he wants to start something new.

I think Cathy's footballer remark is rather random, but initially I thought of David Beckham too. Though I'm not sure, it's a really random thing to say.
I do agree that "banal" isnt the appropriate word for the collection but heavy layering has always been in Tisic's collections ans he does seem to overuse it often.
I personally loved the golden stars.

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30-06-2009
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i thought Givenchy was s***, too ...

but here is a sort of problem i have with fashion critics ... but it's not their fault, i guess.

it's that they want to give transparency by telling all the references (that are certainly written in the press files !) and have this (great) freedom ... but when it comes to talk about the silhouettes no word at all about the stylists ....

these women always describe a silhouette, the stylist has work on !

some of them should seriously take note, there !
it's clear Emmanuelle Alt has HUGE impact on Balmain's collections - never heard of her in a column .... Only Roitfeld is known for having build Gucci a success with Testino ...


Panos has had a great impact, it seems on Givenchy last collection.

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30-06-2009
  29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squizree View Post
I do agree that "banal" isnt the appropriate word for the collection but heavy layering has always been in Tisci's collections and he does seem to overuse it often.
Quote:
Main Entry: ba·nal

Pronunciation:
\bə-ˈnal, ba-, -ˈnäl; bā-ˈnal; ˈbā-nəl\

Function:
adjective

Etymology:
French, from Middle French, of compulsory feudal service, possessed in common, commonplace, from ban

Date: 1825

: lacking originality, freshness, or novelty : trite

m-w.com
i don't know in which world cathy horyn lives, but i don't see men dressing like this right now....this is nothing if not novel. and what footballer wears leggings?! okay, i'm really done ranting now....



men.style.com

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30-06-2009
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I wasnt the biggest fan of the collection. It might have been boring and maybe non-contextual but I dont think it was banal.

I think it was fresh and somewhat new and original, but to me it appeared to be not well put together or it was missing something. But definately not trite.

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