It’s Robin Givhan’s World, We Just Quote It: 10 Critiques Worth Revisiting
Critiquing fashion is not for the faint heart, but no one takes to task the world of style quite like
, and she’s got the Pulitzer prize to prove it. Earlier today, the news broke that the Givhan has signed on to review the New York and Paris collections for Robin Givhan New York Magazine’s fashion blog, The Cut, and we can hardly wait for more of that infamous candor.
It’s also reassuring to our sanity that Givhan has received another high profile gig after her unforeseen layoff from
. Additionally, Givhan will spend the off season continuing to work on her book about the Newsweek/The Daily Beast famous Versailles fashion battle of 1973, in which up-and-coming American designers were pinned against the French masters for sport.
As an ode to Givhan and her new title, we decided to narrow down ten of our favorite quotes from the famed fashion critic, from that time she made
Hillary Clinton’s cleavage a hot topic to when she crossed Karl Lagerfeld (and if that doesn’t get you sweating at the mere thought, we don’t know what will).
Robin Givhan Gets Laid Off From Newsweek
Karl Lagerfeld Calls Newsweek A ‘Sh*tty Little Paper’
Robin Givhan To Pen Book About 1970s Runway Showdown
Robin Givhan On The Mean Girls Who Rain On Victoria Beckham’s Fashion Week Parade
Robin Givhan Joins The Daily Beast And Newsweek
1.On saying what she really thinks:
"There are a lot of people who sort of say that something is good or important or progressive or edgy when in fact, it's just crappy. And no one will just say it's crappy. I'll also say when I think something is absolutely magnificent."
2.On Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel flubs:
"For every classic Chanel handbag or fanciful riff on the little black dress inciting lust in the hearts of style-savvy women, there have been equally mortifying examples of pandering and buffoonery: a tweed jacket transformed into a circus costume, menswear that would make a drag queen flinch, handbags that reek of self-conscious status climbing."
3.On Hilary Clinton's Cleavage:
"There wasn't an unseemly amount of cleavage showing, but there it was. Undeniable... It was startling to see that small acknowledgment of sexuality and femininity peeking out of the conservative -- aesthetically speaking -- environment of Congress.... [I]t was more like catching a man with his fly unzipped. Just look away!"
4.On Vice President Dick Cheney's style mishap in 2005:
"It's the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower.... Here he was wearing something
that visually didn't symbolize to me the level of solemnity and respect that I thought a service like this demanded... He was representing the American people. I don't want to be represented by someone in, you know, a parka who looks like he's at a Green Bay Packer game."
5.On Michelle Obama daring to wear shorts:
"Avoiding the appearance of queenly behavior is politically wise. But it does American culture no favors if a first lady tries so hard to be average that she winds up looking common."
6.On JLo at the American Music Awards in 2011:
"On Lopez—a 40-something accomplished performer who has regularly shown a more sophisticated, nuanced, and original take on sexuality and provocation—the bodysuit was a disappointment. There was no finesse or thoughtfulness in that costume. Its sole purpose was to show off her figure: to her peers, to her fans, to her estranged husband Marc Anthony, who performed separately … to herself. It spoke of insecurity rather than control, defensiveness instead of dynamism."
7.On Christophe Decarnin helming Balmain:
"Certainly, the fashion industry - as a purveyor of beauty ideals, fine craftsmanship, and creativity - is better off without the aesthetic that he and Balmain popularized...The cost of his fully bedazzled mini-dresses could reach well into tens of thousands of dollars, easily making a couture client hyperventilate."
8.On America's growing obsession with thin:
"The fatter the general population, the thinner the idealized woman. And for all the public posturing and blogging, the only force that stopped people from buying clothes and magazines was the souring economy, not righteous indignation over skinny models. Fashion doesnt just reject the overweight and the obese. It also gives the average a hard time, too; it makes them worry about every cookie eaten at the end of a meal or every exercise commitment that goes unmet. Fashion is a purveyor of status. It is a badge of honor for having outrun, outfasted saddlebags unless they are floral-printed and made by Dolce & Gabbana. Those who can indulge in fashion feel their prize is that much more valuable."
9.On Elena Kagan of the Supreme Court:
"Looking drab has its advantages for both men and women in the nation's capital because it insulates them from accusations of superficiality -- a sure-fire political career killer. And as a society, we still cling to certain cliches about absent-minded professors whose brilliance is only matched by their just-rolled-out-of-bed appearance. We connect brains with bad clothes."
10.On American Idol's Sanjaya:
"As America's ears bleed, it sounds as though Malakar no longer is attempting to sing -- that is, to enunciate lyrics while simultaneously carrying a tune. How can he compete with Lakisha Jones, whose lusty voice could blow out woofers, tweeters and everything in between? So Malakar has given himself over to style. Substance, what little of it there is on "American Idol," be damned. He is fashioning himself into a male pop tart. Not just a smiling Bratz boy looking to exploit a healthy head of hair to juice up his image, but someone using fashion as a steppingstone to fame."