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01-07-2009
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Originally Posted by BerlinRocks View Post
Is it the end of Fashion Criticism ? Are Fashion crtics really usefull ?
perhaps, we should just ask whether newspaper fashion critics -- like newspapers themselves -- find themselves a thing of the past. while i believe a lot of the video stuff represents the future of criticism and editorial coverage, we still need fashion critics to break some of the more heady stuff down. i love fashion and even i can't unpack all the references in a show like tao.

also, editors and critics also have the power to alert us fashion folk about designers we'd NEVER hear of. ghesquiere stood as anna wintour's pet project at one point in time, remember? isabel blow took mcqueen under his wing when none of us heard of him.

also, who else will point out the things we need to pay attention to in the less-than-headliner collections and the things we should overlook in the week's highlights? the role of the critic is even MORE key in the internet age. i'd never have had a head's up about jason wintle without suzy menkes' column on the 29th.....would you?

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01-07-2009
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Anna is above all, because she is not just a mere fashion journalist. She single-handedly holds the pulse of fashion: she talks to Arnault and Miuccia at the same time, she decides what will be in departments stores and what will be eliminated. She is not just 'talking' about fashion and style in general: she makes it relevant and reach actual people. It is not just journalism she covers and cares about - it is also the business and sales.

Horyn's job is not that. She just analyzes fashion within the parameters of fashion and style at large. The most she can afford to do is to be analitical and cerebral in her approach. Same is true with Menkes. While the work of a regular editor is not necessarily what Anna does, she is obviously a true exception. She cannot just say Tisci was horrid: she has to think about her relationship with LVMH and department stores as well. But she may reject his looks and eliminate them from Vogue for that season and that would send the justified and appropriate message to the designer, head-honcho and to the rest of the fashion elite.

That's what she did to Yves, Alaia, and many others. Anyways, there are very few steps these contemporary Parisian designers take without her approval and consent, since as we all know, she 'visits' these designers before the fashion week and give her opinions. Horyn obviously doesn't have that influence or allure about her. Not even Carine.

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01-07-2009
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Quote:
That's what she did to Yves, Alaia, and many others. Anyways, there are very few steps these contemporary Parisian designers take without her approval and consent, since as we all know, she 'visits' these designers before the fashion week and give her opinions. Horyn obviously doesn't have that influence or allure about her. Not even Carine.
Fashion critics, along with editors, visit the studio too before the shows.
Sometimes, it happens some shows are presented to a very small amount of influent fashion people (sthg like 10-15 people !!!) long time before the real show and among Fashion Editors (like Grace Coddington), Suzy Menkes can be found there ....

Horyn, Menkes and their friends - could someone make a list of all the influent fashion critics - are very influent, too ... as much as Anna Wintour - or they wouldn't be so much troubles with them !!!!

when I say the role of Anna W. was interesting, I meant I wanted someone to analyse her role linked to the role of x critic ... Like how her role as an EIC could be defined in same terms ....
Is ruling a magazine a sort of critic ? (to me it is ! - just like you said : " But she may reject his looks and eliminate them from Vogue for that season and that would send the justified and appropriate message to the designer, head-honcho and to the rest of the fashion elite.")


Last edited by BerlinRocks; 01-07-2009 at 02:19 AM.
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01-07-2009
  49
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The thing I dont like about Anna W. is that she seems to be the only one of her kind. No one has so much influence on fashion as much as she does. Kinda like a dictatorship.

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01-07-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BerlinRocks View Post
Fashion critics, along with editors, visit the studio too before the shows.
Sometimes, it happens some shows are presented to a very small amount of influent fashion people (sthg like 10-15 people !!!) long time before the real show and among Fashion Editors (like Grace Coddington), Suzy Menkes can be found there ....

Horyn, Menkes and their friends - could someone make a list of all the influent fashion critics - are very influent, too ... as much as Anna Wintour - or they wouldn't be so much troubles with them !!!!

I somehow do not think major department stores care that much about anything Horyn really says: after all they want to do is to sell. I also cannot imagine Horyn having as much influence as Anna or Carine on any designer. She is analytical, but doesn't bear any responsibility for this industry other than voicing her opinion. That is about it.

She also writes pieces that criticize and analyze Vogue and Wintour for instance... she is a true fashion journalist. She writes about anything and everything that is fashion: that is relevant in fashion. Vogue's mission is different: Anna's team are the ones that SET fashion, and put it in motion.


Last edited by b9409; 01-07-2009 at 02:57 AM.
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01-07-2009
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I somehow do not think major department stores care that much about anything Horyn really says: after all they want to do is to sell. I also cannot imagine Horyn having as much influence as Anna or Carine on any designer. She is analytical, but doesn't bear any responsibility for this industry other than voicing her opinion. That is about it.
If I follow this sort of reasoning ... I would be tempted to say that Fashion Critics are DEAD, and that Buyers are the new Fashion Critics.

But to be sincere, I think any buyer should read (and I am sure, they do !) everything, every single piece of paper, that is written about Fashion.

Buyers are over all of this ... In the sense, they really do need to know anything and get all the informations they can get - whoever it comes from ! Anna Wintour or Horyn are on same level, there.

I think you guys put to much pressure on Anna Wintour's shoulders. Fashion is now a Field at Large. Things have changed since the 80s-90s ...
And retailers listen as much Anna Wintour, Horyn or a blogger !!!!!

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01-07-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BerlinRocks View Post
If I follow this sort of reasoning ... I would be tempted to say that Fashion Critics are DEAD, and that Buyers are the new Fashion Critics.
No, not really. It doesn't mean that at all. Fashion critics are necessary to tell the world what is valuable in fashion. That is their mission and they will have to do it no matter what. But in a world that is run by financiers and corporations, what sells is defined by these corporations' access to consumers and structured resources, rather than what some critic says about the length of a skirt.

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But to be sincere, I think any buyer should read (and I am sure, they do !) everything, every single piece of paper, that is written about Fashion.
I am sure they do read. But I am not sure if they really care about every single person's ranting.

Quote:
Buyers are over all of this ... In the sense, they really do need to know anything and get all the informations they can get - whoever it comes from ! Anna Wintour or Horyn are on same level, there.
They are not really ignorant newbies themselves you know. They know much better than Horyn, Menkes or even Wintour about what sells and what simply won't. Wintour had requested Prada to change some fabric for the manufacturing of one of her collections after seeing the fashion show, and the buyers were said to thank Anna afterwards for talking to, and convincing, Miuccia. They know what fabric will sell before anyone else. On the other hand, I do not think Horyn could ever request such a thing from any designer.

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I think you guys put to much pressure on Anna Wintour's shoulders. Fashion is now a Field at Large. Things have changed since the 80s-90s ...
And retailers listen as much Anna Wintour, Horyn or a blogger !!!!!
Trust me, they don't.

If they were to listen every blogger and journalist out there thinking they know all about fashion, the stores would be full of crap that would never fly in the US. We like Margiela, Comme Des Garcons, Jil Sander... how much those things sell in the US next to Gucci you think? Buyers know their game, they just need the creative direction.

And the person who provides that direction is Anna.


Last edited by b9409; 01-07-2009 at 06:39 AM.
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01-07-2009
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Quote:
And retailers listen as much Anna Wintour, Horyn or a blogger !!!!!
Quote:
Trust me, they don't.
i should have say "hear" ...

but don't worry, i hear you "Anna is God!"

- think we're a bit off-topic, there !

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01-07-2009
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^ not really, she is a critic herself, isn't she?

... and she isn't god: she is the devil.

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01-07-2009
  55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pasha View Post
I somehow do not think major department stores care that much about anything Horyn really says: after all they want to do is to sell. I also cannot imagine Horyn having as much influence as Anna or Carine on any designer. She is analytical, but doesn't bear any responsibility for this industry other than voicing her opinion. That is about it.

She also writes pieces that criticize and analyze Vogue and Wintour for instance... she is a true fashion journalist. She writes about anything and everything that is fashion: that is relevant in fashion. Vogue's mission is different: Anna's team are the ones that SET fashion, and put it in motion.

I think you under estimate the national and global reach of the NYTimes. Pieces of NYTimes are picked up by smaller newspapers/Times Publications throughout the US and abroad. A person living in a small town is more like to read a Times piece than to have a subscription of Vogue IMO.

Horyn (and Menkes) is a respected journalist. It's not her job to set fashion but to objectively report on what designers (and later retailers) will be presenting to the consumers. Fashion is a business and if I were a designer I would consider objective criticism and (maybe) use it to better inform my design process. She was very honest about her thoughts on Tisci's collection and she has been critical of other designers like Pilati at YSL in the past. Horyn doesn't come from a place of pure hate but always from a prism a "real woman/man" (aka the consumer) versus VP's the gothic hyper sex kitten or US Vogue's social grande dame.

Honestly, I think we give Anna and Carine too much credit and too much power. I hope we all remember that fashion design is not limited to the 5 designers they highlight issue after issue. They give us a limited (though aspirational) view of "fashion." Fashion and individual expression through dress is so much more than that.

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01-07-2009
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There is no doubt that due to technology the rigid nature of banning critics is becoming less and less effective. Everyone here has as much say as Ms. Horyn, and potentially as much exposure via the internet. But rather than making journalists like Cathy Horyn etc irrelevant, I believe it does the opposite, it makes her training, education and employment position increasingly important as a formal opinion on fashion as opposed to assumedly informal opinions elsewhere. That’s not to disregard informal opinions, as I believe they also offer something valuable. There is definitely room for both.

I think the underlying issue is that sometimes fashion gets far too clouded by image and branding, and creative innovation oft gets left behind. A designer that lacks creative innovation will soon become irrelevant, as the entire fashion system only ever moves forward, towards the new. People like Anna Wintour have a completely different agenda when approaching fashion than journalists like Cathy Horyn. Wintour addresses fashion from a business perspective, she operates within the realm of Vogue and establishes choices that cater to the magazines researched demographic, it has nothing to do with criticising fashion. Horyn is a critic that analyses fashion in a very broad context (which can include business), and of course it is her job to find the good and the bad; and formulate an evaluation that establishes the subject’s significance within fashion history. She presents a subjective and objective criticism that is free of business bias or certain commercial tendencies.

What is Mr. Armani learning from a positive washed-over review that he didn’t already know 10 years ago? A critical review puts his clothes into current perspective, analyses them against current conditions and allows his brand to stay relevant, this is something a critic can bring to the table, whether it be good or bad, it is beneficial.

The problem is that fashion has had a constant struggle with being categorised as either business or art. Designers like Armani want the best of both and try ineffectively to dominate each category to form a perfect equilibrium. The business ensures financial growth and power, whilst the “art” provides status and cultural recognition, which in turn works as a marketing tool to support business. It’s an ideal cycle. The critic (in the truest sense, not necessarily Ms. Horyn) is meant to legitimate a change in direction and identify relevance within the context of fashion history, fashion design or most broadly, our culture. They represent the art in fashion. The buyers and editors etc are responsible for exposure and commercial significance. They represent the business of fashion.

The fashion critic will stay pertinent to the industry as long as it is possible to move fashion design forward, and for as long as it wants to be regarded as an art form. To lose formal criticism will render fashion as merely a product to be sold and bought.


Last edited by skot4mc; 01-07-2009 at 10:12 AM.
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01-07-2009
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Wow, great opinions here. Good post, skot4mc. My 2 cents - when there's more consensus, more top-down decision about fashion, less differences of opinions, less criticisms and disagreements, it makes fashion DULL. We need a Horyn to put it in a larger social perspective, to analyze Anna Wintour, to get behind the story, we need a Anna W. to understand the commerce and business, we need Bloggers to get the general person-in-the-street opinions, we need Stylists to visualize the creative impetus and to provide a provocative context - the more there is, the better. That gives us a rounded, whole picture.


Last edited by Zazie; 01-07-2009 at 01:15 PM.
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01-07-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppyAzura View Post
I think you under estimate the national and global reach of the NYTimes. Pieces of NYTimes are picked up by smaller newspapers/Times Publications throughout the US and abroad. A person living in a small town is more like to read a Times piece than to have a subscription of Vogue IMO.
more people read glamour magazine than does american vogue, but that doesn't reduce its influence.

Quote:
Horyn (and Menkes) is a respected journalist. It's not her job to set fashion but to objectively report on what designers (and later retailers) will be presenting to the consumers. Fashion is a business and if I were a designer I would consider objective criticism and (maybe) use it to better inform my design process....
if she did that, most would probably respect her. she goes beyond that and that's the argument here.

Quote:
Horyn doesn't come from a place of pure hate but always from a prism a "real woman/man" (aka the consumer) versus VP's the gothic hyper sex kitten or US Vogue's social grande dame.
let's take her latest...do you really think the "real woman/man" wears junya watanabe and commes des garcons? seriously? the new york times and cathy horyn have agendas just like everyone else.

Quote:
Honestly, I think we give Anna and Carine too much credit and too much power. I hope we all remember that fashion design is not limited to the 5 designers they highlight issue after issue. They give us a limited (though aspirational) view of "fashion." Fashion and individual expression through dress is so much more than that.
honestly, anna wintour wields a lot more power than you give her credit for. she championed john galliano LONG before he got appointed by dior -- we know the BILLIONS of sales they've had since his appointment. i hold carine roitfeld partially responsible for balmainia. seriously, would a lot of us know about that brand without her and her counterparts touting that look? name the last time the new york times created something from nothing? that's their power.

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01-07-2009
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honestly, anna wintour wields a lot more power than you give her credit for. she championed john galliano LONG before he got appointed by dior -- we know the BILLIONS of sales they've had since his appointment. i hold carine roitfeld partially responsible for balmainia. seriously, would a lot of us know about that brand without her and her counterparts touting that look? name the last time the new york times created something from nothing? that's their power.
i quote just because there are some mistakes.
this is a customer that offered John Galliano his first big opportunity in Paris - she gave him her appt. for his show.
And that's Andre Leon Talley who talked about John to Anna W.

and before Dior, John was at Givenchy ....
so he became important before Dior.

About Roitfeld ... well she just reinvented Gucci during the 90s - with Testino and Tom Ford.
And Balmain is Emmanuelle Alt, not Roitfeld. Roitfeld appointed Tisci at Givenchy.

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01-07-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BerlinRocks View Post
i quote just because there are some mistakes.
this is a customer that offered John Galliano his first big opportunity in Paris - she gave him her appt. for his show.
And that's Andre Leon Talley who talked about John to Anna W.

and before Dior, John was at Givenchy ....
so he became important before Dior.

About Roitfeld ... well she just reinvented Gucci during the 90s - with Testino and Tom Ford.
And Balmain is Emmanuelle Alt, not Roitfeld. Roitfeld appointed Tisci at Givenchy.
There were mistakes but your corrections are not accurate.
It was Anna who told Andre to go to Paris and make sure he found the resources to put on a show. That's when Andre, John, and "the customer" (whose name i can't remember either) arranged that the show would take place in her appartment.
Anna has a very close relationship with Arnault from LVMH, so his job at givenchy could be seen just as an antechamber to get to dior.
she is also responsible for the appointment of Marc Jacobs chez vuitton. They've known each other even before he got to Perry Ellis.

Jsut watching the short September Issue trailer, or the articles that have been written about it you get an idea of Anna's power.
Things like telling OdlR not to put a given outfit on the show, or even (and this i find just beyond) convincing Miuccia Prada to change the blend of fabric she was using for some of the pieces she had already presented on the runway to help both her and the retailers who at the end of the day have to sell them.

Carine is also very influential but in a different way. She recognizes her power to make a model a supermodel, a designer a star, blah blah blah... so in a way she hasnt so much of a "commercial" power like anna, but a "directional" or "trend focused" one. The gucci of the 90s was indeed part of her work, and Tisci. i would also say though, that she had a lot to do with Balmain. She has supported Decarnin a lot too, and the fact that Emmanuelle is the one who consults directly for him doesnt give her all the credit. After all, she works for Carine.

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