Saturday, March 29, 2014

Exodus: The winter of our discontent.

Cathy Horyn

Has anyone besides me, Catherine, Jolain and others noticed that before the credits rolled the theater emptied? Where did everyone go? That goes for all of NYFW.....

Ok, so I did see a few shows, CH and RR along with a few others (Bibhu Mohapatra, Duckie Brown and some others not worth mentioning). They were each moving in their own ways. Ralph Rucci, of course, was the most moving, but in a static, frozen in time way. Carolina Herrera had some great moments that were so chic, so interesting, starting with an exaggerated Fez on the heads of many of the girls parading in DELUXE daytime clothes. Great fur treatments on cashmere coats, a turtleneck cashmere sweater that all but made the notion of a coat redundant. Day in the world of CH is more compelling than evening where the hand can become a tiny bit ham-fisted. Still it is the pervasive feel of chic, even modern at times, propriety that persuasively makes the argument for luxury. Ms Herrera is a classy Lady and her team led by Herve Pierre and crew are clearly a joyful gang with none of the angst that has riddled so much of the industry. Maybe that's because Mrs. H has nothing to prove. When you have IT why bother? It's a European sensibility that many of us inhabiting the New World are still centuries away from embodying.
Eric Wilson

The Ralph Rucci collection, due its own individual analysis, is interesting in a similar way with the exception that most every exit was its own show, its own statement on the nature of modernity in a time of social decay. I say static in that his themes were further developed, refined and distilled making the message, the sheer beauty and brilliance of idea/execution that much more obvious to see. The show staged in his own studio, a space that defies description other than to say it is part laboratory, part gallery and part heaven, was much more intimate than the tents so the clothes passed so close to you it was possible to see the texture of the fabrics, hear the rustle of fabrics and the sound of crystals and beads whispering to one another. It left me not so much stunned as satisfied.

Suzy Menkes
The strangest part of all was the absence of critical eyes. Ms. Horyn was not in attendance having left the Times only a week before to be with her partner, only for him to pass away within the following week. Her exit was the end of an era, or the end of an error, depending on how one chooses to look at it; glass half empty or glass bone dry. Though the uproar over her departure was such that some lamented that hers was the last voice of intelligent, objective discourse/criticism. Others mourned that fashion criticism is now the domain of ignorant uninformed bloggers. There may be some truth in that...

Watching Suzy Menkes shuffle in, then reading her reviews that parroted the hackneyed Horyn-isms (cutting on the "round" and "couture shapes", tropes, the notion of, etc.) and happy talk was distressing but not unexpected. Eric Wilson moved on to greener pastures too. I miss him. Eric's is an intelligent voice that is surprisingly objective. Rarely did he print a review that was oblique and freighted with meaning that couldn't be deciphered. I never had to read him twice... I even miss Cathy. She at least supplied the catnip for me and others to rake our claws over. I also feel for her Greek chorus weighing in on her blog with comments so dense in language and meaning that only she could "get at" what they attempted to "get at". I call them the Horyns of Babylon. Mrs. Menkes I understand is/has jumped ship to join Conde Nast so that completes the circle. The vacuum that's left is as disturbing as the legion of uninspired "designers" tossing looks down the runway like a pot of uncooked spaghetti at the wall; nothing much sticks just a mess on the floor to step in like the lazy entitled zombies in Brooklyn Heights whom no longer feel responsible for picking up after their mutts.

Europe, Paris in particular, is another story altogether. A story with a beginning, middle and end.

No comments: