Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Cathy Horyn’s NYT Milan Reviews – What?

Today in Cathy Horyn’s reviews for NYT covering the women’s collections from Milan, she hails Raf Simons work for Jil Sander as “A Man Who Gets Women”.

She writes “he must have spent a lot of time contemplating women” – What?

To prove her point the Times runs the three pictures below from the Jil Sander show, What?

Sorry, but these looks do nothing to capture the diversity of sexiness, gentleness and strength of the modern women I know.

The collection looks just exactly like what it is – a very talented menswear designer trying to figure out how to translate his aesthetic to women’s while still honoring the reputation of a major design house.

The real kicker , though, is that in the very next paragraph she condemns Consuelo Castiglioni work at Marni’ (and “female designers” in general) by writing “Why can’t female designers create fashion commensurate with the largeness and complexity of their lives?”. What?

Raf is the star with that collection and Marni and Prada get thrown under the bus?

Cathy sums up Prada by saying “the murky layers, and the metropolis backdrop, came too close to Marc Jacob’s recent show”. What?

That is Miuccia’s fault?

Did Cathy see these looks from the Marni show?
Not only is this a new more sophisticated, sober, less BoHo-ish look for Marni but it speaks much more to the masculine/ feminine, sweet/sinister. refined/raw lives of modern women.


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  1. fiftyRX3

    February 22, 2006 at 2:24 pm

    In know, it’s like trying to keep up with currents in contemporary art. An art critic is just an opinion, perhaps a tad more informed. Thank goodness for diversity. I have a love hate relationship with the apparel arts. No wonder Andrea Zittel styled herself a uniform and wore it every day for six months, the implications being much more interesting…

  2. Glenn O.

    February 22, 2006 at 2:31 pm

    I find these reviews nuttier and nuttier…like the attack on Carolina Herrera for irrelevancy. But it’s all worth it now that you can actually hear Cathy Horyn read her work. It’s the next big thing in spoken word. Check her readings out on the Times website “…Karl Lagerfeld’s library of 100,000 volumes…” What I wouldn’t give to hear her read Naked Lunch.

  3. Anonymous

    February 22, 2006 at 2:33 pm

    THANK YOU. When I read that article, I thought the same thing about Raf Simons’ new designs. What woman is Horyn talking about? Those outfits looked so boring!

  4. The Queen Is Dead

    February 22, 2006 at 3:27 pm

    Sartorialist: You are the shit!
    Your breakdown of Cathy Horyn’s article is not only incredibly witty, but one of the most insightful reads of the fall fashion 2006 collection.

  5. F.A.

    February 22, 2006 at 3:47 pm

    leave it to cathy to pick out the dowdiest and the least daring of things… sadly, she dresses like a middle aged corporate secretary. but i love her super-pretentious voice on … and she lost so much weight recently… i respect that.

  6. MrWynn

    February 22, 2006 at 5:09 pm

    I think this is why I like your blog. I get the distinct impression you like fashion more than you like being a “fashion journalist”.

  7. Imagemuse

    February 22, 2006 at 5:15 pm

    That woman is just plain odd – she liked the Narciso Rodriguez Fall 06 collection praising his use of subtlety but if your wardrobe was nothing but Narciso, people would think you only had 2 dresses and as for evoking primal human heat – maybe if you were a robot and then she says that Francisco Costa took Calvin Klein too far from its sportswear tradition – that is definitely for the better I say.
    Yes glenn o. she should narrate Naked Lunch.

  8. Maya

    February 22, 2006 at 8:19 pm

    i think that obviously cathy is an older woman and looks at clothes differently becuase of that. she doesn’t really see that younger women think that these clothes could never compare with those put on the catwalk by coutless other designers who do seem to understand that girls and girls.
    i too was puzzled by what she said about marni and about calvin klien in new york but that doesn’t stop me from reading and listening to her reviews religiously

  9. Anonymous

    February 23, 2006 at 4:57 am

    I am sorry but I agree. I like them. Time to put away layers and clownlike fashion
    And choosing between the two I choose Raf Because marni looks like been there done that for the last 4?? seasons

  10. Anonymous

    February 23, 2006 at 1:20 pm

    Fascinating take from Suzy Menkes. She and Hornyn attended the same shows, but in parallel universes.

  11. Anonymous

    February 23, 2006 at 5:24 pm

    I have to agree. Even though I think she overestimates the importance of clothes–they are but embellishment–Raf’s debut envisions a stronger, independent woman. Have you ever seen Gemma Ward look more sophisticated, or beautiful?

  12. Anonymous

    August 2, 2006 at 4:25 pm

    Has Cathy Horyn ever gotten it? I don’t understand why so many follow her column.

  13. Anonymous

    January 26, 2009 at 11:30 am

    I guess the difference is: some people love styling, others design. And some designers are stylistes, and the very best are genuine designers. And Raf Simons defenitely is THE designer. His focus is the utter design, not nicely accessorized, overstyled catwalk silhouettes. Though I looove and understand both brands.

  14. Juno

    February 3, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Scott, the difference is that Cathy knows what it is like to be a woman and to wear these clothes. You, as you say, only “see” women, you have no idea what it is like to actually be one.
    I’m with Cathy on the clothing by Raf. Wearable. And not treating women’s bodies like they are mannequins to be decorated, and damn the wearability, but rather real clothing that can be put on and not thought about while women do the things they need to do, in a dignified, strong way. Nothing worse than seeing a woman looking like she is playing “dress up”, or worst still, that some designer is playing dress up and using her as his/her dress-up doll.

    Hooray for stylish and dignified clothing.

  15. Helen Forrest

    December 14, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    The last sentence of Cathy Horyn’s review above could be describing Coco Chanel and the first of the shots reinforces this. It’s a particular look that only certain elegant, deeply feminine women can wear. I love it -though with my curvy body I can only watch.

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