How to Join
the Fashion Spot / Front Row / Fashion... In Depth
FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Rules Links Mobile How to Join
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
28-06-2009
  1
V.I.P.
 
BerlinRocks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: MilkyWay-Pluto-Earth
Gender: homme
Posts: 11,233
The World of Fashion Critics
I don't know if this is worth opening a thread ...
- couldn't find any interesting title, any mod with litterature skills can edit it !



I opened this thread just for this
- I don't know if this has already been posted somewhere or not :

Quote:
March 13, 2008
Critic’s Notebook
My Invitation Isn’t in the Mail

By CATHY HORYN
GIORGIO ARMANI does not want me at his fashion shows.
In a letter to my editor earlier this month, he cites my “unnecessarily sarcastic comments” about his friends and family in a review of his last couture show and notes that I have “rarely found positive remarks” to make about his ready-to-wear collections, and then surmises that I have “an embedded preconception.” He concludes: “Going forward therefore, I see no real merit in inviting Cathy Horyn to my women’s shows.”
The subject of banning journalists from fashion shows seems as quaint as the practice itself, neither a commendation to the industry nor a badge of honor to the critic. Indeed, fashion is the only creative field that attempts to bar the news media.
Drama and film critics are often baited and pressured by producers. When Frank Rich was the chief drama critic of The Times, the producer David Merrick tried, and failed, to place a pair of ads in the paper inviting pyromaniacs to the Times building. But those critics can always buy a ticket to a play or movie. A fashion writer must be invited to a runway show.
But of course that sounds ridiculous, as though I am wearing white gloves and a girdle to type on my I.B.M. ThinkPad. This is 2008. Two hours after a hot show like Prada or Balenciaga anyone, not just reporters, can pull up images on the Internet and post their opinions on blogs around the world. The wonder to me is not why a designer like Mr. Armani bans a journalist. Rather it is why he doesn’t use the power of digital technology to take his message directly to the public, effectively knocking out journalists who complain that his clothes are out of touch.
What being banned tells me is that fashion has entered a borderland between the old and the new. Practiced mainly by older designers, whose careers took flight in the 1980s, banning seems a reflexive action against a perceived threat to their power. After Hadley Freeman, the deputy fashion editor of The Guardian in London, gave an unflattering description of a Jean Paul Gaultier fur cape with flying carcass heads, in July 2006, she was informed by his press representative that she would be “banned for life.”
The ’80s was a creative period in fashion, the decade of nouveau-riche dressing and the invasion of the Japanese designers in Paris, but it was also an uncritical one. In the United States, except for a handful of writers, notably Kennedy Fraser of The New Yorker, there wasn’t much critical discussion of fashion. Women’s Wear Daily could be tough on designers, extracting loyalty and punishment with the glee of a small boy pulling the wings off a fly, and there was the paper’s famous feud with Geoffrey Beene.
More recently, Suzy Menkes, the fashion editor of The International Herald Tribune, has been temporarily banned by some houses (as was her predecessor, Hebe Dorsey, who took the matter lightly: She had her hair done and then wrote about it).
Until I got to The Times, in late 1998, I had written some fairly critical reviews and profiles of designers but had never been excluded from a show. The first designer to ban me was Helmut Lang — a perplexing turn, I felt, since one of Mr. Lang’s reasons for adopting New York as his home was that it is the news media center of the world. Later, there were bans from Carolina Herrera (recently lifted) and Dolce & Gabbana (still imposed).
I have no doubt, as Lynn Tesoro, a seasoned fashion publicist, says, that designers who take their works seriously also take harsh reviews personally. Yet it is clear to her that some designers don’t fully understand the different roles of the media — the magazine editors looking for beautiful clothes to photograph (and, with luck, an advertiser to satisfy in the process), the newspaper critic examining a creative change, and increasingly the amateur blogger. During the recent shows, Ms. Tesoro said, a client of hers complained about reader comments on a fashion blog, demanding to know how they could be controlled or excised.
Many consumers find Mr. Armani’s clothes very appealing, and certainly no one would bother denying that he had a huge impact on the way men and women looked in the ’80s and early ’90s. I loved attending his shows then. The half-lit beige amphitheater in his Milan palazzo, the knowing sense of taste, the glide of the models.
And if fashion writers might be suspect in appraising his influence, given the furriness of the prose and the amount he spends on advertising in magazines, there have been plenty of culture critics to explain it, not least the late Herbert Muschamp. In a dazzling review in this paper of the Armani exhibition at the Guggenheim in 2000, he identified an imaginative power that was equal to Cecil Beaton’s in the Ascot scene in “My Fair Lady.” But, as Muschamp pointed out, institutions like the Guggenheim, which was criticized for accepting perhaps as much as $15 million in donations from Mr. Armani, don’t do well when they import fashion-world values, like cronyism, delusion and sycophancy, into their decision-making process.
Well, fashion houses don’t do well with these values, either. On Feb. 17, when I learned in Milan that Mr. Armani was not inviting me to his fall 2008 women’s show, I ran into a number of my fashion sisters who darkly commiserated with me, as if we shared a secret. But just when did attending a fashion show cease to be a pleasure and become instead a chore? Or is the show and our almost compulsory attendance really about something else, about preserving distinct power bases in the face of their rapid erosion?
The system of inviting editors to see a new collection has been in place for decades and, despite the public access created by the Internet, has encouraged a kind of rigid caste system, with front-row chiefs, art directors, top photographers and, farther back, the stylists, junior editors and now bloggers.
It is not unusual to hear journalists complain that their seat assignment does not reflect their rank, or to hear a house publicist fret about it. Ms. Freeman of The Guardian said she and other British editors received a letter from Chanel apologizing that their seats at the recent show in Paris did not reflect the “hierarchical order” of the British contingent, which was apparently moved back a row or two to make room for some Chanel V.I.P.’s.
The pompous-sounding letter made Ms. Freeman laugh. “Aren’t we there to look at the clothes?” she asked rhetorically.
Yes — and no. If writers were there just to look at clothes and collect their thoughts for reviews and future articles, there would be no finicky emphasis on placement, as though we were guests at a private dinner party. And without the cozening emphasis on rank there would be no threat of demotion or outright banishment from the group. (Anyone who complains that fashion is like high school is quite correct.)
“The reason we go to fashion shows is to see other people and to see where they are in the industry based on where they are sitting,” Ms. Freeman said. “For shows that are so redolent of the ’80s, the only strength a designer has is his seating assignments.”
Marko Jenko, an art history student in Slovenia who is a regular on my blog, recently pointed out that perceptions are a form of public space, like the airwaves, and that designers can’t control them. Besides, Mr. Jenko said, Mr. Armani already profits handsomely from having his name blazed on television, billboards, in magazines, on scores of self-named products.
If the power of digital technology makes obsolete the practice of banning journalists, what remains of the old system but an empty seat? I can’t say yet whether I will write about Mr. Armani’s clothes by viewing them online. Frankly, I would be much more excited if he unburdened himself of the whole system, closed down the shows, stopped with the backstage stroking sessions, and went directly over the Internet to the public.
And if fashion writers don’t know what to do with themselves, if such a day ever comes, then that’s their problem.
NY Times

The rest of this thread could a place where people share their opinions, informations about Fashion journalists and critics ...

  Reply With Quote
 
28-06-2009
  2
no tom ford, no thanks.
 
mikeijames's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: closer than you think.
Gender: homme
Posts: 5,899
i do believe that some fashion journalists have agendas and believe themselves to be some sort of divine oracles. it's fifty times easier to find something negative to say about a collection than to write something positive. especially in america, we have an obsession with building people up only to sell papers and get ratings when it's time to tear them down.

i love the new york times and cathy horyn remains an outstanding writer, but she does cross that line many times into commentary that's uncalled for. i truly admire suzy menkes, but i feel that she has a very specific vision for how women should or should not dress; she judges shows with a very small lens that doesn't always comport with the way real women actual dress.

on the complete flip side, i think the way that ediatrix anna wintour and her crew judge shows remains the model by which other should follow. if it's a good show, talk about it, photograph it, push the look. if it's bad, simply omit it. to get left out of the pages of vogue seems to hurt far more than a negative sentence would and it leaves the personalities and the grudges out of it.

__________________
everything is never quite enough.
  Reply With Quote
28-06-2009
  3
V.I.P.
 
BerlinRocks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: MilkyWay-Pluto-Earth
Gender: homme
Posts: 11,233
Quote:
it's fifty times easier to find something negative to say about a collection than to write something positive.
funny you say that, because i did think about this yesterday while i read comments on TFS - and was writing one, that i didn't post in the end ....

imo Horyn is great critic, but too often she writes her columns 'sur un coup de tête' ...
and that one problem with fashion critics during FW .... You see tons of shows in a very short period of time. Sometimes you're tired (and tired of seeing the same stuff over and over again), so once it came to a big label you can totaly lose your mind and be mean because you didn't take too much time to focus and think about it.

the whole problem in fashion critics is TIME !

I think they should rethink it ...
Those newspaper critics are very different from the style.com ones - where sarah and tim only copy/paster the press file and s*** designers ...

  Reply With Quote
28-06-2009
  4
no tom ford, no thanks.
 
mikeijames's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: closer than you think.
Gender: homme
Posts: 5,899
Quote:
Originally Posted by BerlinRocks View Post
the whole problem in fashion critics is TIME !

I think they should rethink it ...
Those newspaper critics are very different from the style.com ones - where sarah and tim only copy/paster the press file and s*** designers ...
i don't think the issue is time. i think the issue is that some newspaper critics -- not just in fashion -- have made up their minds before they even sit down to a show. perhaps they have three quarters of their review written before they even see it and just plug in a couple of details from the actual show to make it real....who knows? however, i think many newspaper critics have lost credibility because they frequently pan things that are cultural sensations.

i won't even read a newspaper review of a film before i go see it. ditto a book from my favorite authors.

__________________
everything is never quite enough.
  Reply With Quote
28-06-2009
  5
Looking Up
 
Squizree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Zealand
Gender: homme
Posts: 18,545
A lot of critics are biased depending on their personal view on style and beauty and their vision on the "perfect woman". And dont get me wrong sometimes I love hearing about other people's opinion on what a woman should look like, such as Suzy Menkes. She has such a focussed image in her mind and anything that falls short of this image instantly becomes questionable for her. At the same time this is a really bad thing. Narrow mindedness becomes irritating and makes the critic sound like a complete bitch.

BUT that being said I like reviews that are inclined to one side rather than neutral most of the time, because you learn much more about a collection that way.

Im getting sick of critics who just suck up to everyone and just want to keep everyone happy.

  Reply With Quote
28-06-2009
  6
V.I.P.
 
BerlinRocks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: MilkyWay-Pluto-Earth
Gender: homme
Posts: 11,233
Quote:
A lot of critics are biased depending on their personal view on style and beauty and their vision on the "perfect woman".
critics are not really journalists .... they don't only 'review' things, they give their opinions regarding past and future and present ... it belongs to 'personnal opinions' imo ....

the problem atm, imo, is blogging (and then TIME and SPEED) ...
because of blogs and internet, fashion critics have to write very quickly because (i guess) they have pressure from their superiors ... So they write on first sight before thinking more than 30sec. about it ...

The whole problem stands there.

Blogging sort of installed a sort of "fashion critics crisis" ....

  Reply With Quote
28-06-2009
  7
V.I.P.
 
gius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Gender: homme
Posts: 10,161
i often just skim through articles by these critics/writers.. i think they are better and more useful to other people (readers, designers and fashion enthusiasts/consumers alike) if they are able to describe the designer's vision and collection's story..so that others can maybe understand the reasons behind it or find a different way of appreciating it, sharing ideas... i could care less about their actual opinion. everybody can develop their own.

__________________

  Reply With Quote
28-06-2009
  8
Looking Up
 
Squizree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Zealand
Gender: homme
Posts: 18,545
^The problem is some critics dont know the story or the purpose of the collection and end up writing something really bullsh!t.

  Reply With Quote
28-06-2009
  9
V.I.P.
 
gius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Gender: homme
Posts: 10,161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squizree View Post
^The problem is some critics dont know the story or the purpose of the collection and end up writing something really bullsh!t.
that's what i dont like about so many of the 'blogs' out there.. almost writing for the sake of writing.. so Horin and Menkes are usually up on my list in that case (and there seem to be a bunch of other writers i find at IHT.) it's what separates a great review from the meaningless sea of others. many times there isn't even any reasoning to back up a person's opinion in one of these blogs, which is even more pointless.

__________________


Last edited by gius; 28-06-2009 at 06:30 AM.
  Reply With Quote
28-06-2009
  10
Looking Up
 
Squizree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Zealand
Gender: homme
Posts: 18,545
^ Very few bloggers actually see the true meaning of fashion. Most of them just look at collections and categorise them into either Sexy, Elegant or Cute, which is SUCH an....uneducated way to define a collection, very inadequate. Very few blogger actually look at a collection and compare it to previous collections and designers and refer to certain historical inspirations and manage to filter meaningful conclusions about collections' personalities and moods. Its so frustrating.....sifting through useless blogs over and over again.

  Reply With Quote
28-06-2009
  11
clever ain't wise
 
iluvjeisa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Gender: femme
Posts: 13,848
I find most fashion critics very predictable. I read it mostly to hear something about the references cited as important for the collection.

  Reply With Quote
28-06-2009
  12
barcode
 
Spike413's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: New York
Gender: homme
Posts: 14,411
Horyn is really one of the only fashion critics I pay any attention to. I think it's mostly that there is a sense of honesty to her reviews. They're blunt, sometimes painfully so, but I find that she's good at not going on a power trip and simply ripping a collection apart for the sake of ripping it apart. Her criticisms are thoughtful.

It also helps that she has a blog, and usually posts about the collections within the same day they're shown. I check On The Runway at least twice a day during fashion week.

__________________
You need to move fashion forward when there's a reason to move fashion forward - Tom Ford

  Reply With Quote
28-06-2009
  13
Looking Up
 
Squizree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Zealand
Gender: homme
Posts: 18,545
^Whats her blog Spike?

  Reply With Quote
28-06-2009
  14
barcode
 
Spike413's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: New York
Gender: homme
Posts: 14,411
On The Runway at NYTimes.com.

__________________
You need to move fashion forward when there's a reason to move fashion forward - Tom Ford

  Reply With Quote
28-06-2009
  15
Looking Up
 
Squizree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Zealand
Gender: homme
Posts: 18,545
Thanks heaps Spike. I like seeing her in videos after fashion shows to hear what she has to say. The thing I like about her is that her analysis is usually detailed with a good explanation.

  Reply With Quote
Reply
Previous Thread | Next Thread »

Tags
critics, fashion, world
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

monitoring_string = "058526dd2635cb6818386bfd373b82a4"


 
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:29 PM.
Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
TheFashionSpot.com is a property of TotallyHer Media, LLC, an Evolve Media LLC company. ©2014 All rights reserved.