Cathy Horyn: Alexander Wang Is Not A Great Designer

Cathy Horyn doesn’t pull punches. Remember the New York Times fashion critic’s scathing profile of Snooki? Of course, Horyn’s critical pen isn’t just reserved for reality show pseudo-celebs. A disfavorable review of an Armani couture show even got her disinvited from his ready-to-wear show a few weeks later.

And today she skewers none other than our beloved Alexander Wang. We loved Wang’s spring/summer 2011 collection. Horyn, however, did not. Her first jab goes a little something like this:

Mr. Wang is not a great designer, though he probably would be happy to accept any laurels that people want to toss him, but he is clearly a shrewd guy.

Emphasis ours. Ouch. At least she doesn’t beat around the bush? Oh, but there’s more! Much more! Horyn thinks Wang’s clothes are unoriginal and derivative.

He also must have sensed that fashion’s memory hole was widening in direct proportion to the numbers of young people Googling his name. The designs were cool, but they didn’t have to stand up to much scrutiny — hey, didn’t Marni do those pants last season? — so long as the stuff was widely and easily available … The collection downloaded the ideas of designers like Ann Demeulemeester and Issey Miyakenaturally, without their sense of energy and intuition — and for that reason, despite some cute looks, the show was a little boring.

Wang did win the CFDA Swarovski Award for accessories, and was nominated for best womenswear designer. Surely this couldn’t have been a fluke, right? She also seems to have a problem with the fact that Wang’s stuff isn’t crazy expensive (although, does she remember the $395 biker shorts of summer 2009??).

Unlike some of his dreamy peers, he decided at the outset to make affordable clothes… Mr. Wang doesn’t really have courage in the traditional sense of trying something new and difficult, but he does have China. Nearly all of his clothing is now produced there.

In addition, Horyn says that Wang’s designs “conjure up the coldness of a computer screen.” Looking at his latest collection, with it’s use of color and draping, we’d have to respectfully disagree. What do you think? Alexander Wang: fashion hero or hack?

[Via The New York Times]

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