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17-09-2012
  1
Mr. Magic
 
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Oscar de la Renta Writes 'Open Letter' to Cathy Horyn
Quote:
OSCAR’S NOTE TO CATHY: Oscar de la Renta took out a full-page ad in Friday’s edition of Women’s Wear Daily to publish an “open letter” ad that took Cathy Horyn to task for calling him a hot dog and alleging he copied Raf Simons’ styles at Dior in her review of his show last week. Margaret Sullivan, The New York Times’ public editor, weighed in Friday afternoon on nytimes.com. “There undoubtedly is a line of personal criticism that a writer shouldn’t cross when describing an artist or designer — though that line is pretty far out there when you consider the benefits such figures gain from their celebrity status,” Sullivan wrote. “Ms. Horyn’s review didn’t even come close to the line.”

It will come as no surprise that Horyn is in agreement. “The term was used in a professional context, as in someone showing off his tricks, like an athlete,” Horyn told WWD. “As for the ad, it seemed a bit over-the-top.”

But de la Renta still stands by his statements in the ad, which said that if Horyn could call him a hot dog, he could call her “a stale 3-day old hamburger.”

On Friday, the designer said he had received numerous calls of support and one big bouquet of flowers. He added that blogs and Twitter were trending overwhelmingly in his favor. As for Horyn’s and Sullivan’s assertions that de la Renta misinterpreted what was intended as a positive review, he begged to differ. “Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the people who read it read it the way I read it,” he said.

De la Renta restated a point he made in his letter, that he has no issue with negative criticism per se. “I don’t care that Cathy gave me a bad review,” he said. “Journalists — either you like it or you don’t like it, and you have to do your job as a professional. But you have to behave like a professional.”

The designer did take umbrage with Horyn’s assertion that he had been influenced by Simons’ Dior couture show, particularly his peplum bustiers. “Mr. Simons showed his with cigarette pants. Mr. de la Renta went with shorts,” Horyn wrote. De la Renta pointed out that he showed a peplum bustier over cigarette pants for resort in May; Simons presented his couture in July.

Asked if he might ban Horyn from future shows, de la Renta offered an immediate no. “I’m not going to make it that important.”
wwd.com

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17-09-2012
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I have to be on Horyn's side here. It was such a minor insult, one that I interpreted was directed more towards him as a designer than him personally. It would have probably gone by unnoticed if it wasn't for him taking out this ad.

I think there's probably some underlying dispute between them that's now getting to the surface, or has reached its breaking point, because unless his age is getting to him I don't see why a comment like that would warrant taking out a full page ad like this.

Attention whoring and childish, Mr de la Renta. Even more childish than her original insult.

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17-09-2012
  3
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does anyone have Horyn's review of his collection for reference?
i suppose i could google...

*edit: found it...

here are the relevant parts (her full review contains reviews of other collections..)
Quote:
Mr. de la Renta is far more a hot dog than an éminence grise of American fashion. He opened his lively show on Tuesday with a red latex pencil skirt, a sleek ivory wool pantsuit and dairymaid lace. The models’ hair was streaked with war paint, and midway along, after bead-quivering jackets and neon-bright skirts, he sent out white lace with black pencil-like scribbles. It was wonderfully cantankerous, a good bit of window-dressing for the gooey stuff that followed.

It was also clear that Raf Simons’s Dior couture show had been an influence: in a two-sided evening dress, in the odd flashes of minimalism, in some very cute peplum bustiers. Mr. Simons showed his with cigarette pants. Mr. de la Renta went with shorts.


Last edited by ChrissyM; 17-09-2012 at 12:20 PM.
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17-09-2012
  4
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I'm on Oscar's side. It was an insult. I've never really liked Cathy Horyn. She represents everything that's wrong about fashion. Pretentious for pretentious sakes...

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17-09-2012
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I agree that it's a quite ambiguous, but I can't believe there's been all this hullabaloo over one sentence. It probably says something, that this has been talked about far more than his clothes, eh?

He's a grumpy old man and every time he issues an open letter like this, or comments to WWD about his peers, I think less of him.

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17-09-2012
  6
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That's clearly an insult (you're not smart, my Dear, you're just an average stupid American. You are clearly not a Chef, experimenting, trying to level up Fashion as a form of Art, but just a hot dog maker, not even a cook - if we carry on the food metaphor) ... Is true or not, I cannot tell I don't know him.

To me, it also sounds very political ...

But is it worth a thread in Fashion in Depth ?! To me, it's worth Rumor has it ....

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17-09-2012
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why wasn't her explanation posted?

Quote:
"I used the term in a professional context, as someone showing off his tricks, like a surfer," Horyn said in an email. "I thought an ad was a little over-the-top."

Hotdogging was coined as a surfing term in the '50s and generally described surfing "for flash rather than function."
http://www.fashionologie.com/Cathy-H...og-Ad-24948266

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17-09-2012
  8
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Oh ok ... I'm clearly not an eminence grise, either ...
But I'm not Anglo-Saxon, and I'm not even sure every English-speakers understood it this way ...

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17-09-2012
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I don't see anything wrong with what Oscar did. There was nothing aggressive about his response to her review; he just spoke his mind in terms of how he saw the review, just as Horyn spoke her mind in terms of how she saw the collection.

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17-09-2012
  10
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I think he's becoming the American version of Karl Lagerfeld, just picking fights. It was a few years ago he also called out US First Lady Michelle Obama for wearing an Alexander McQueen instead of an American designer...preferably one from his collection, no doubt.

I don't think I've ever seen "hot dog" used in this sense...I don't understand it as an insult, but I don't understand it in its supposed literary context, either. So I'm not sure what direction she was headed and I can understand his grief with it.

But, she is a fashion critic...this is what she does. And I think she's one of the few fashion critics who actually helps designers by being honest, as opposed to the usual butt-kissing cookie cutter templates that often pass for fashion reviews these days. For him to retaliate like that is a little over-the-top. If the fashion industry had 10 more Cathy Horyns, is he going to put out 10 ads to respond to each one? Being a fashion designer who's survived in the business this long, he should know that a tough skin is a requirement.

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17-09-2012
  11
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They're both annoying and they should both shut up. If they have issues with one another, settle it in private instead of using the media to throw mud at each other back and forth. Also it's very childish to call someone a hot dog, even if there is some kind of vague explanation behind it. A hot dog. I actually don't even think children call each other that. She's a writer. She should use better descriptions. He's a designer. Writing is not his forte, so he's forgiven.

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17-09-2012
  12
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sorry but i have a lot of respect for cathy's writing. and why because she doesn't hide behind kissy-face,pandering rhetoric that tends to be pretty rife in this industry,especially in the US. she's honest but she's also very thoughtful in her critiques as well.

oscar seriously needs to get over himself. maybe he's just upset because the american elite aren't clamoring over themselves to get piece of him anymore. maybe it's because his aesthete is actually that stale. i certainly think it has for a while. to me he took this whole thing to another level of pure unadulterated childishness by writing up a full page letter in a different publication. cathy was writing her article as a reviewer,oscar responded in a very personal way,and it says more about his fragile ego than cathy's style of writing.

you know it reminds me of all that stink suzy menkes got from galliano and bernard arnault a few years ago because god forbid a critic writing a less than positive review of one of their immortal collections. that what all of this sounds like to me,egos with wads of cash getting bruised.


Last edited by Scott; 17-09-2012 at 04:27 PM.
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17-09-2012
  13
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I've got to side with Cathy on this one, while her wording wasn't the best, I think it says more about Oscar then her because of the way he responded. She chose an outdated term to describe his designs but he used such a public medium to respond when to be honest, it wasn't even necessary to make a comment. It was a non-issue which has now turned into a issue. As a designer you have to learn how to take criticisms in order to see where you can improve and learn. And it seems like Oscar is so used to being loved that he's not used to having someone make a negative comment about his work. He might need to be brought down a peg or two, even the best designers in the world always have something they can work on (same with pretty much any profession...no matter how good you are). If Oscar really has an issue with Cathy he should have reached out to her in a private manner rather then publicly, that's what most people would do in a work environment, rather then send out a massive memo to the whole business.

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17-09-2012
  14
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I agree that this is evidence of a massive ego more than anything else. When he criticized Michelle Obama, I found it quite unbelievable ... the guy apparently after so many years thought he had a right to be the designer of choice for anyone in the White House. Well, think again.

The term is more than a little obscure, but if anyone called me that, it's so strange that I would Google it. Without some other meaning, it would be a bit of a Galliano moment, and Cathy has shown no previous evidence of being close to the edge ...

Frankly I think he likes, no loves, the attention he gets whenever he lashes out ... and here we are giving it to him :p

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17-09-2012
  15
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I am totally with Cathy. ODR looks ridiculous issuing that public letter; and speaking of pretentious - taking out a 1 page ad to defend "himself"! She, on the other hand, is just doing her job. She's a critic, and a good one, imo. Too many critics hold back in their reviews. So what if he's 80 and a practical institution; in so many words, I'd've said his last collection blew chunks! It was horrid, those gowns an eyesore. If a hotdog is all he had to stomach for that, he should burp politely and go about his business.

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