The World of Fashion Critics

Discussion in 'Fashion... In Depth' started by BerlinRocks, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. Bidwell

    Bidwell New Member

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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...
     
  2. Dkammern

    Dkammern DÔMMkammern

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    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)
     
  3. Squizree

    Squizree Looking Up

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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.
     
  4. homeboy

    homeboy New Member

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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.
     
  5. Squizree

    Squizree Looking Up

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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.
     
  6. mikeijames

    mikeijames no tom ford, no thanks.

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    cathy horyn could CERTAINLY afford to do this. here's one of her latest blog posts which made my vein throb over givenchy:

    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. :angry:
     
  7. Squizree

    Squizree Looking Up

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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.
     
  8. BerlinRocks

    BerlinRocks New Member

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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.
     
  9. mikeijames

    mikeijames no tom ford, no thanks.

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    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....:angry:

    [​IMG]

    men.style.com
     
  10. Squizree

    Squizree Looking Up

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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.
     
  11. mikeijames

    mikeijames no tom ford, no thanks.

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    and that's fine, but it's different when a new york times' columnist says it. i mean, i wish the blogosphere had as much sway with stakeholders and decisionmakers as the fashion elite, but it's not that way. also, by the time the consumer actually gets to vote with their dollar, the dye has been cast and the words won't get taken back.
     
  12. mikeijames

    mikeijames no tom ford, no thanks.

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    footballer? footballer!

    i'm sorry to keep going back to this....but this got presented at junya watanabe....and she qualifies this as strong. a simple google search of footballers finds that they wear this look ALL THE TIME. (and i actually enjoy this look, to be honest, but i'd never say it constitutes a "STRONG" collection). :angry:

    [​IMG]

    men.style.com

    (attached is a picture of real madrid footballer iker casillas from kickette.com)
     

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  13. homeboy

    homeboy New Member

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    The reason Anna stands above other fashion critic is because she has excellent taste and is a visionary just like the designers themselves, while most fashion critics are..........merely fashion critics with little or no demonstrated creativity -- especially those who are just columists. Her work as the editor in chief of Vogue speaks for her authority and righteousness as a critic while others only have negative adjectives to resort to in order to make themselves noted.
     
  14. Spike413

    Spike413 barcode

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    I didn't take the footballers comment quite so literally, and I don't think it was meant to be seeing as it just doesn't make sense when it is. I think what she was saying was essentially that the collection looks like it's for people who merely wear what they're offered of designer clothing without actually knowing or caring about what fashion and style really are.

    That's just my take on it though. For all I know I could be reading far more into it that Cathy intended anyone to.
     
    #34 Spike413, Jun 30, 2009
    Last edited by moderator Ava Madison: Jun 30, 2009
  15. b9409

    b9409 New Member

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    Horyn hates Tisci - everyone knows that. She has never written anything nice about him - EVER as far as I can remember. I think it is something rather personal.

    Critics opinions matter only a little. They hate Frida: Gucci sells like hot cakes. Theykens is another good example in the opposite way. Of course not everything is about sales, but that is how the paychecks of these editors and journalists are also getting paid in this business.

    I also somehow understand Armani's position.

    Of course she can somehow find a way to see his collections even if she is not invited (I mean this is the 21st Century) but why should he waste a space in the front row to a woman who never writes anything good, but sounds plainly condescending and didactic, about one of the most successful designers of the entire fashion history and his latest efforts? I can understand why he would give up on her - she can badmouth him all the way she wants whether she sits in the front row, or in her hotel room in front of some computer eager to see some clothes. Putting someone like Beyonce or Cate Blanchett in her seat will guarantee more press coverage and relevance for him anyways.

    I like Tim Blanks, but he is always nice. Which is a good thing actually. I, for one. cannot stand Sarah Mower and her pedestrian BS. She just writes whatever her agenda is. She is utterly beneath contempt and an unpleasant person to begin with. I have written about my distaste with that woman before here.

    Menkes is great, but we all know she has her faves too. But they all do. Horyn is an exceptional woman and journalist, but if she is this opinionated about everything that is fashion at large, then she should also find another angle to channel her knowledge and critical point of view rather than just writing about seasonal collections.
     
  16. b9409

    b9409 New Member

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    She can be quite irritating.

    Her beef with him is personal I think. She is not criticizing: hers words are full of sheer and heavy insults. In a world as bland and mundane as mens fashion, I say everyone works as a stylist. Let's be honest: what are Slimane, Ford or even Simons?

    They are all re-cutting and reforming either Saville Row or Giorgio Armani, with embellishments and clever styling. On the other hand, isn't that what every designer DOES today - sell an image within a vision rather than just well-made clothes?

    If she wants humor, she should go and watch Bill Maher. I do not see Margiela or Rei doing anything light-hearted or 'humorous'.



    http://runway.blogs.nytimes.com/
     
  17. Squizree

    Squizree Looking Up

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    She has...ONCE! I remember it kinda clearly. It was after his Haute Couture S/S 07 collection for Givenchy (which just so happens to be one of the greatest Givenchy collections ever made - if not THE best).
    Cathy said that Tisci had finally achieved a degree of romance in his clothes for once, unlike all his other collections which lacked it. And I think she also said that this connected him to the original Givenchy.

    For the most I agreed with her.
     
  18. mikeijames

    mikeijames no tom ford, no thanks.

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    i don't understand why she can't take issue with a collection without becoming insulting. i believe anna wintour achieves this through omission. i believe tim blank does this by letting audience members express negative commentary. why hasn't a writer as accomplished as horyn found a way to disagree without being disagreeable?
     
  19. Squizree

    Squizree Looking Up

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    This is when I start hating her comments. Her idea of "some kind of magic" is so vague. It could be magic to the rest of us, and surely it is! Just because the references are invisible and unclear does not mean that they're not there. Maybe she's the one who's just not looking hard enough.

    Either way, 99% of the time Cathy is a remarkable critic and she knows how to support her opinions with sufficient evidence, but there seems to be more than just fasion critisism here.
     
  20. Squizree

    Squizree Looking Up

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    You might have answered your own question. She could just be a person looking to establish herself as the Perez Hilton of fashion so to speak.
     

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