As we all know, New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn has made some harsh, blunt (even mean?) comments in her show reviews over the years, including many things designers probably didn’t enjoy reading. And now, designers are firing back.
For instance, several of New York’s most iconic designers expressed disappointment to WWD earlier this week over Cathy Horyn’s list of “must-see collections.” Oscar de la Renta, for instance, told the trade, “It bothers me because I love my industry, and I love fashion. I think fashion is something of beauty and it really makes me mad when someone writes about fashion in a bitter way.”
It turns out he was just getting started. After his show Tuesday, Horyn wrote the following:
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.
Understandably, de la Renta did not seem to appreciate being referred to as a “hot dog” and the comment seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. In what may be this week’s juiciest, most dramatic piece of news, the designer wrote an open letter responding to Horyn that was printed in today’s WWD (photo via Business of Fashion’s Twitter):
I know, right? When we first read Horyn’s blurb about de la Renta, we thought it may have been more of a dig at Style.com’s Nicole Phelps, who opened her ODLR review with, “Oscar de la Renta is New York fashion’s éminence grise.” Perhaps Horyn will mention that if she publishes a response to de la Renta’s letter, which we really hope she does.
Update: Cathy Horyn has responded and apparently feels de la Renta misinterpreted: “I used the term in a professional context, as someone showing off his tricks, like a surfer,” Horyn told Fashionologie. “I thought an ad was a little over-the-top.”