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Oscar de la Renta took out a full-page ad in Women’s Wear Daily late last week that was an “open letter” to fashion writer Cathy Horyn, chiding her for calling him a hot dog and implying that he copied Raf Simons’ styles at Dior in her review of his Spring 2013 runway collection held during Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week.
But Horyn doesn’t think her review was negative. “The term [hot dog] was used in a professional context, as in someone showing off his tricks, like an athlete,” Horyn clarified to WWD.
But de la Renta has not backed off from his statements in the ad, in which he called her “a stale 3-day old hamburger.”
The designer says he received numerous calls of support and one big bouquet of flowers. And one supporter was none other than Lady Gaga, who tweeted her opinion to her 29.5 million followers, writing “Bravo Oscar. Only you would be so chic as to purchase an entire page in WWD, making statements like a good fashion citizen.”
This isn’t Gaga’s first smackdown with Horyn. In her column in the September 2011 issue of V magazine, Gaga, decrying about “extreme critic fundamentalism,” said: “In the age of the Internet, when collections and performances are so accessible to the public and anyone can post a review on Facebook or Twitter, shouldn’t columnists and reviewers, such as Cathy Horyn, employ a more modern and forward approach to criticism, one that separates them from the average individual at home on their laptop?”
She also asked: “Why do we harp on the predictability of the infamous fashion critic? The predictability of the most notoriously harsh critics who continue writing their notoriously harsh reviews?”
She continued, “To be fair, Ms. Horyn, the more critical question to ask is: when did the pretense of fashion become more important than its influence on a generation? Why have we decided that one person’s opinion matters more than anyone else’s?”
De la Renta says he has no issue with negative criticism. “I don’t care that Cathy gave me a bad review,” he said. “Journalists — either you like it or you don’t like it, and you have to do your job as a professional. But you have to behave like a professional.”
De la Renta says he has no plans to ban Horn from his upcoming shows.
What do you think of fashion critics? Do you take their opinions seriously?
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