Fashion Canada

Chèr M. Arnault,

You strike me as a rational person, yet a story I read today in WWD (sorry, no link as they are stingy with their internet presence) regarding the rumors involving Marc Jacobs and the House of Dior leave me wondering if I have given you too much in the doubt-benefit department.  You can’t possibly be seriously thinking of handing the label over to Captain Lucky.

I believe that someone switched your morning Wheaties for a pot cookie.  It’s really the only explanation I can come up with.

If I could think of the equivalent of saying that I was moving to Canada when whichever Presidential candidate I was backing lost in a landslide, then that is exactly what I will do if you let Marc Jacobs take over Dior.

Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the concept of talent?  Allow me to reassure you that Mr. Jacobs possesses none.  Mr. Galliano, flawed human though he may be, is a genius worthy of designing for the house of Dior.  Mr. Jacobs will send me and many others with eyeballs to fashion Canada, which, come to think of it, is probably located in Canada.

So, please, I beg you.  Do not hire Marc Jacobs to ruin Dior.  Because you know that’s what he’ll do.  He will bring in the frump and if Dior is about anything, it does not rhyme with Donald Trump.

Thanks and have a great rest of your summer.

Your friend,

Cat

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The Ridiculousness of Polo, Governor’s Island Edition

MJ:  Kirstie, you were incredible on Dancing with the Stars! You were robbed.  What brings you out here to the Polo match?

DK:  I’m not Kirstie you nincompoop.  It’s me, Lady Karan.  I came for the nachos.  Why are you here?

MJ:  Donna, sorry, I thought you were…oh, never mind.  Nachos?  Well, that explains the sombrero. But, um, I think you got it a little mixed up. It’s Nacho.  Nacho Figueras.  He’s a polo player?

DK:  Nacho?  Oooooh.  He’s a dreamboat.  Do you think he likes hot cougars like me in clingy asymmetrical jersey knits?

MJ:  I was just about to get into that seafoam romper.  Which begs the question, how the hell do you get into it?

DK:  Five.  Easy.  Pieces.  Don’t you remember anything?  Or was that early triumph of mine during one of your “lost” periods.

MJ:  Right about now I really wish I was still using.

DK:  Don’t I look hot? I am technically as old as the sun and you’d never know it from my face.  Did you know that once you get to be as old as I am you have to choose your ass or your face?  No, really.  Catherine Deneuve sends everyone an Oprah-endorsed memo once you turn 60 and then you pick—ass or face.

MJ:  FML.  Need.  Air.

DK:  Why don’t you loosen that tie?  Your face is starting to match my romper.

MJ:  Where’s Lorenzo?  His ironic mustache might not seem so ridiculous right about now.

DK:  I’m going to head on over to the buffet.  Do you want me to fix you a plate?

MJ:  Um, no thanks.  I ate in 1996.  I’m just going to head on over and see if they have face painting over by the ponies.


Everyone’s a Fan

Originally posted February 17, 2010

I had to wait until Cathy Horyn of the New York Times posted her review of Marc Jacobs’ collection until I could piece together in my head just what it is about reviews of fashion shows that really irks the bejesus out of me.

I waited for Horyn because I knew she would not let me down and would feed me the ammunition I needed. And since I’m basically lazy times a million, she would do all the work of digging her own grave as a “critic” and instead show that she is, like the rest of us, a fan as well.

There is a big difference between a critic and a fan. I ought to know—I’m a fan. I don’t pretend to be a critic. I like what I like. I root for a particular team (Go, Yankees!), and I treat my opponents with respect when I secretly want to destroy them (tennis, anyone?).

These days, a fashion critic does the same thing—roots for her guys, barely recognizes the teams she doesn’t support and throws shade (and schadenfreude) when a designer shows a clunker collection.

I don’t know Cathy Horyn, but I admire her. I’m singling her out because she is the Roger Ebert of fashion—the one critic everyone knows whose opinion carries some weight. I tend to agree with most of what Horyn writes. She drops references that leave a philistine like moiscratching my head. Where I get tripped up is when she gives a free pass over and over and over again to the same people. Marc Jacobs, I mean you. Karl Lagerfeld, I’m looking in your direction, too.

The Marc Jacobs show in New York was quiet (code word for boring) and elegant (code word for boring)…and oddly, a little schmaltzy for my taste. Think Somewhere over the Rainbow and Dorothy ankle socks—yeesh. The long gray A-line skirts and tunics Horyn found so appealing left me a little cold, but I liked the fur and feathery shrugs, collars and hems even if I found all of the proportions a little dwarfing on those skinny models.

But everyone (and by everyone, I mean Cathy Horyn) wrote about the collection as if it were perfection. In the same review, she gave the Rodarte show two small unflattering paragraphs and didn’t even mention the greatest part of the show—the finale where they shut off the lights and turned on a blacklight so that all of the white pieces glowed like your teeth at a nightclub. It was awesome.

I, however, am a Rodarte fan, therefore I liked the collection. Cathy Horyn is a Marc Jacobs fan, ergo her favorable review. See the difference between criticism and fandom?

Now, I honestly don’t want it to seem like I am beefing with Horyn. My beef is with the concept of fashion criticism. Oh, and with the fact that the fashion world now takes even the opinions of a 13-year-old blogger seriously (watch for more on that). But I am a grown-up who has promised herself she will not pick on a child, so I can’t allow my evilness to go there…as much as it wants to (and oh man, does it want to).


The Personal Style Issue

Originally posted January 5, 2010

Just before Christmas, or maybe it was just after (hard to tell, as my head was a little full of sugar plums), I saw a picture online of Marc Jacobs and his man friend, Lorenzo Martone—who is very, um, manly—wearing Speedos and very little else. Their sartorial choices were skimpy, tacky and unappealing on so many levels.

Marc has a collection of tattoos that are best described as random (SpongeBob, a couch and the little girl from Poltergeist). They could be described as hideous, but I’m trying to be nicer in 2010 than I was in 2009. Oh, who am I kidding? I’ll never be nice. They are seriously the worst tattoos I’ve ever seen.

In another photo someone sent me in retaliation for sending him this one, they were both carrying women’s purses as beach totes. Marc had a Birkin bag (those retail for around $8,000), and Lorenzo was holding a Louis Vuitton/Richard Prince bag—all the better to, I suppose, keep the money in the family coffers. Boys, you are on a beach. There is a lot of sand. Have you ever gotten sand in your Birkin? It’s a bitch to get out.

This lack of clothing (and taste) on the beaches of St. Barths got me thinking. Do I really want a designer dressing me who can’t dress himself?

I make no bones about my feelings for Mr. Jacobs. I think he gets a free pass each season because people are desperate to think an American is on the same level as John Galliano, Alexander McQueen or Nicolas Ghesquiére. This particular American is not, but don’t tell the press. They lurve him.

But what about other designers and their personal style?

Galliano usually looks like an orange pirate. Except for that one time he dressed like an astronaut. That was awesome. Somehow, I think he’s doing it for the theater of the moment. Call me naive.

McQueen looks kind of like a soccer hooligan. This I like, even if it has nothing to do with what he sends down the runway. (I have a David Beckham weakness, too, but I’ll save that for another post.)

Ghesquiére looks handsome in his quasi-uniform of a motorcycle jacket, basketball sneakers and jeans. He and his blue eyes are very good sales tools for Balenciaga’s tough chic.

The Mulleavy sisters (Laura and Kate) don’t bother with the goth trappings of their Rodarte line, though I sometimes wish they would. They wear jeans, sweaters and some ballet flats, like a friend you know who really just can’t give a flying f–k to get dressed or brush their really, shiny pretty hair. This makes them cooler to me in some reverse-chic snobbery I find refreshing in a world of those who try too hard.

Miuccia Prada does a really good job of taking the Sicilian-dowager styling cues from her own line and making them work. She usually looks like she has on something that’s vaguely Prada but maybe not from this season. I guess she has the archives to flip through whenever she needs to belt a cardigan over a full skirt.

DVF is always wearing one of those horrible wrap-dress thingies that made her famous twice over. Seeing her in those makes me sure I’ll never, ever buy one or wear one even on a dare.

Carolina Herrera looks like she is always going to a party where there will be many Argentine polo players present, and I so want to come along for the ride even if I will secretly be plotting all night long to cut off her maxiskirt.

Michael Kors and his fake orange tan are perfect for the ladies who think they lunch and who are boring enough to buy his faux-jet-set clothes.

Rick Owens looks like the runway version of Rick Owens. That is to say, he dresses the part to a beat-up tee. And that is kind of what I want a designer to do—you know, if they are trying to get you to buy it, don’t you think they should be able to wear it themselves, head held high?

This, of course, is just a partial list of who comes to mind when I think of designers whose personal style either matches what they sell or falls far short of it. And to be really honest (a good resolution—hello, 2010!), I was mostly just looking for a way to take some cheap shots at Marc Jacobs and the couch he rode in on.