Fashion

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

Fashion

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

Malcolm Harris, Senior Editor at The New Inquiry, on CELINE">
"Rife with internal contradictions, this dress(?) gives you the confidence of a many-armed god while expressing the straightjacket of ennui that is your meaningless consumer-driven life. Made of cloth."
Malcolm Harris, Senior Editor at The New Inquiry, on CELINE
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Ben Barna, Online Features Director at Bullett Media, on GARETH PUGH">
"I really like this number. It looks comfortable, practical, and like it wouldn't stain, which is always my biggest problem." —Ben Barna, Online Features Director at Bullett Media, on GARETH PUGH
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Tissue Magazine, on BURBERRY PRORSUM">
“Even though the model looks lost in this outfit, I like the elegant playful fetish layout. Walking into the TISSUE editorial office in a sheer skirt with golden hearts on your panties will sure get you the job.”
—Uwe Jens Bermeitinger, Creative Director/Editor of Tissue Magazine, on BURBERRY PRORSUM
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Jack Dylan, Famous Artist, on COMME DES GARCONS">
“Hot Beetlejuice, Hot Beetlejuice, Hot Beetlejuice!”
Jack Dylan, Famous Artist, on COMME DES GARCONS
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Brant Watch, on JEAN PAUL GAULTIER">
“This dark-browed alien wears a stunning Lou Reed toupee and a clip-on mullet woven from the hair of baby ponies residing on Chincoteague Island. It pairs deliciously with her single heavy metal Dream Catcher earring and a platinum silver neck brace for a look that savvy journos are already dubbing ‘androgynous middle-aged ambulatory recovery chic with Goth/New Age overtones.’”
—Scott Indrisek, creator of Brant Watch, on JEAN PAUL GAULTIER
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Hermie Island on ASSEMBLY">
“This outfit looks like what it feels like to have a cosmic orgasm with the one you love in a sun-filled terrarium with not a thing left to-do for the rest of the day. This look is honest, comfortable, and making me yearn for material commodities.”
—Monique Palma Whittaker for Hermie Island on ASSEMBLY
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“This reminds me of being a '90s kid into Carolyn Bessette Kennedy's style. The skirt is awkward, off-color, and in a shape that she would have worn; makes it just perverse enough.”
—Naveed Hussain, Media at Selima Optique, on DRIES VAN NOTEN
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Luke O’Neil, Bullett regular, on ACNE STUDIOS">
“This looks like one of those three paneled toys where you slide different outfits onto a doll, except instead of, like, a tennis outfit, and a spring dress or whatever, all of the options are different versions of exploded scuba-diver from what Hollywood imagined raves 100 years from now would look like 15 years ago.”
Luke O’Neil, Bullett regular, on ACNE STUDIOS
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Tess Edmonson, art writer and editor, on CARVEN">
"Stop hogging the computer, Grandma."
Tess Edmonson, art writer and editor, on CARVEN
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NOT VOGUE on SAINT LAURENT">
“What does Courtney Love think. Track her down. I believe writing about what Hedi Slimane does with SAINT LAURENT as a fashion project is irrelevant. It is an art project. You can say that his strategy was formed by RICHARD PRINCE. APPROPRIATION is what propels the collection process at SAINT LAURENT PARIS. SLP is ART not FASHION. You decide whether it is relevant as art.”
—Steve Oklyn of NOT VOGUE on SAINT LAURENT
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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.