Monday, October 1, 2012

Lady Gaga v Cathy Horyn

In her review of Oscar de la Renta's spring 2013 show The New York Times' fashion critic Cathy Horyn described the designer as a bit of a showboat (she used the word "hot dog") rather than an √©minence grise (a statesman-like presence, I suppose because he's 80 years old). Read the original review HERE. Mr De la Renta didn't understand the hot dog reference and got angry enough to react in an open letter to Ms Horyn.

All fairly predictable so far, critic finds an obscure reference to insult a designer and designer can't keep his cool long enough to just ignore her. But it starts getting good when Lady Gaga gets involved: a few days later in Paris, the songstress takes sides and declares in a RAP that "Cathy Horyn's style ain't dick".

Now it's getting exciting! I may not describe Cathy Horyn's style that way, but it surely is a non-existent style. She is no Hilary Alexander or Suzy Menkes.

A bit of a mean-girl boy in my FIT class once said that he could never respect a designer's clothes if that designer could not dress well himself. I suppose that could be a valid observation for critics as well. If a critic dresses like a mousy grey middle-of-the-road frump, can we trust her when she wildly critiques away? Read some of her cattiest opinions right HERE and decide for yourselves...

I am dying to know if Cathy knows the difference between a silk crepe and a twill, or if she could cut a piece of fabric on the bias if I gave her a few yards. She probably does - she works for the venerable New York Times after all - but I would love to see a reality style show with Cathy in the hot seat and Lady Gaga yelling orders at her: Define plain weave!!! Draw a kimono sleeve with gusset!!! Drape a shift dress!!!

The New York Times must be loving all this. After all, it is not easy for a respectable broadsheet to steal headlines from the likes of the or In fact, I think the frump may get a raise.

NYT Fashion Critic Cathy Horyn dresses up. Photo from

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