Following Horyn’s piece in today’s New York Times in which she slammed Hedi Slimane’s debut ready-to-wear collection for Saint Laurent and claimed that she had not been invited to his show because of an eight-year-old grudge the designer was holding against her, Slimane took to Twitter to issue a response and, um, blow off some steam.
The tone of his open letter is a mixture between scathing, hilarious, sarcastic and incoherent. He headlines the letter in a New York Times-y font, calling it “My Own Times,” with the sub-head “Miss Cathy, Freedom of the Press.” And, as you can read in the full letter below, he calls her “a schoolyard bully and also a little bit of a standup comedian,” and an “average writer.” He also mocks a book she wrote about Bill Blass and calls her personal style “seriously challenged.”
He also alleges that she has an “agenda” and calls her a “publicist in disguise.” He confirms she will “never get a seat at Saint Laurent but might get a 2 for 1 at Dior,” which we interpret as confirmation that Slimane believes Horyn is partial to Raf Simons. He then inexplicably ends the letter with a plug for his new website, which currently shows a leopard print blanket.
Wow. All we can say is that hating on Cathy Horyn is pretty popular these day and we think it’s pretty unwarranted. Also, it’s hard to imagine what sort of state of mind Slimane must be in after presenting fashion month’s most built-up show to a slew of lukewarm–if not negative–reviews.
Oh and Slimane’s designs aren’t the only aspect of the new Yves Saint Laurent being criticized.
Business of Fashion‘s Imran Ahmed wrote a very revealing piece detailing the way the Yves Saint Laurent PR team handled the rebranding, alleging that he’d been asked to revise every piece BoF has published about the label. He says that he, too, was denied an invitation to Slimane’s show because Yves Saint Laurent’s PR team didn’t approve of BoF’s “tone of voice” when writing about Yves Saint Laurent, and snuck in instead.
The Telegraph‘s Lisa Armstrong also expressed frustration at the way Saint Laurent was dealing with the press:
For starters, there was the seating. Or the standing, with some journalists admitted only right at the back. (“Don’t worry”, soothed the PRs, “you’ll be standing with your peers.”) Then there were the instructions about the change of name. Sorry, names.
Next, somewhat deliciously, came an email with ten “approved” portrait shots of the designer, most of them in chiarascuro and James Dean-esque in aspiration. Finally, the memo informing us that–unlike every other designer in the world–Slimane would not be taking questions backstage (although the especially-blessed might be permitted to say hello at the end of the YSL show). YSL? Forgive me, by the way if that should be Saint Laurent Paris, Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane or plain old Saint Laurent. Even the most ardent fashion claqeurs are finding it hard to get on top of the new nomenclature, owing to the fact that even the most ardent fashion claquers have a life.
WWD stuck a subtle dig at Slimane in their review of Karl Lagerfeld’s latest collection for Chanel. Of Lagerfeld, they wrote:
His ability to refresh without convulsive reinvention may make him fashion’s ultimate modernist. But he’s got some pretty old-school ideas about the workplace. When it comes to his collections, thematic secrecy? No. Preview? No problem. Sound bite? He’ll give you 30. Banishing longtime front-row types to the second row, or disinviting those who have written ill of him? Nope.
Yikes! Is there something in the water over there in Paris? Have we reverted to high school? Can’t we all just get along?