After last month’s infamous war-of-words with Oscar de la Renta (in which they called each other hotdogs and hamburgers), Cathy Horyn has gotten herself into another scrap–and this time it’s with Saint Laurent’s Hedi Slimane.
During Slimane’s debut RTW show for Saint Laurent yesterday, many (including us) couldn’t help but notice Horyn’s absence. Today, a rep confirmed to us that the NY Times critic had indeed not been invited. But why? Though Saint Laurent declined to give a reason, Horyn has an idea. And it has to do with Raf Simons.
“Despite positive reviews of his early YSL and Dior collections, as well as a profile, Mr. Slimane objected bitterly to a review I wrote in 2004 — not about him but Raf Simons,” Horyn wrote on the NYTimes’ Runway blog. “Essentially I wrote that without Mr. Simons’s template of slim tailoring and street casting, there would not have been a Hedi Slimane.”
The sentence Horyn is talking about, specifically, from her 2004 review is this:
“Beginning with the skinny suits that made his reputation nearly a decade ago and made a Hedi Slimane possible, Mr. Simons gave a real glimpse of the future.”
Later on in the review, Horyn is also (though perhaps not equally) effusive about Slimane’s menswear, commending the designer for his ability to tap into the “continually changing world.” But apparently that first sentence comparing Slimane to Simons was enough to set the Saint Laurent designer against the critic.
In yesterday’s blog post, she continued:
“Mr. Slimane insisted that he was the first to show the skinny suit. It was a silly debate. Who cares? As time went on, he also felt (as best as I can tell) that I gave preference to Mr. Simons in my coverage of the men’s shows…I haven’t spoken to Mr. Slimane in five years.”
Maybe this gives credence to the supposed feud between Raf Simons and Hedi Slimane after all…
In any case, Horyn suspected she may not be invited to Slimane’s debut for Saint Laurent, and so she raised the matter with Francois-Henri Pinault, chief-executive of PPR, which owns Saint Laurent.
“Mr. Pinault expressed dismay. ‘That’s ridiculous,’ he said. ‘Journalists should be invited to shows.’ Quite so. But I suspected that Mr. Pinault was in a jam. Having given Mr. Slimane much authority to remake Saint Laurent, he could scarcely take it away from him.”
However it may have all been for naught because Horyn, never one to be strong-armed, gave Slimane a review anyway based off the runway images. Needless to say, it wasn’t too positive.
“The collection was a nice but frozen vision of a bohemian chick at the Chateau Marmont,” she wrote. “Considering that Mr. Slimane was an avatar of youthful style, I expected more from this debut. I had the impression from the clothes of someone disconnected from fashion of the past several years.”