Fashion

What Do You See? Non-Fashion Critics Grapple With Runway Looks

Fashion

What Do You See? Non-Fashion Critics Grapple With Runway Looks

If fashion is a language, I’d say I’m versed. I know the etymology of labels, the dialects of subcultures, the slang of today’s trend. But fashion, unlike word languages, can and will be “read” by the less well-versed. I go outside layered like ’80s Comme des Garçons and what I think I’m saying is “Japanese intellectual avant-garde,” while the bag lady begging for change on the corner recognizes me as one of her own. After a month of reviewing the Fall 2013 runway shows, of feeling assured in my professional opinion that J.W. Anderson was genius and Saint Laurent is tragic, it hit me — What do I know? Maybe trash bag pants aren’t a wise investment. Maybe the cute film boys I’m always trying to impress will see an Ewok instead of “chic Dries” when I sport that furry playsuit. Maybe those glasses are too The Matrix. Suddenly uncertain in my sartorial fluency, I asked a series of non-professionals, some fashion followers and some most definitely not, to tell me what they saw in outstanding looks from Fall 2013. From consumer criticism to ’90s films, here’s what happens when (mostly straight boys) play the fashion critic.