Anyone who reads The New York Times Style section regularly (and really, who doesn’t?) knows that Cintra Wilson can make Cathy Horyn look like a withering church mouse provided that she’s in the right mood. We learned this week from her Critical Shopper review entitled “At Dior, A New Look That’s More Of A Sneer,” that the newly reopened Dior flagship in New York is one of the things that sends her into this mood.
Wilson, for whom the adjective “abrasive” can be a serious understatement, wastes no time in telling us how separate the identity of the refurbished space, on New York’s 57th Street, is from the ideas that brought Christian Dior to fame in the 1940s. His New Look was hailed then as a liberating mode of dressing for women who were “entering the work force and exploring possibilities beyond merely being someone’s wife” — but the new American home for Dior, according to Wilson, squats on that idea and caters mostly to blinged out trophy wives. Herein, what are perhaps the sharpest remarks from Wilson’s review:
On the merchandise:
A pair of $1,850 toeless peek-a-booties made of stiffened black lace seemed too fragile for a memorable night in Manhattan, but perhaps if you were carried from limo to sofa, you could get a couple of months out of them.
On the weird Russian brand of excess the space evokes (which, consequently, is a major theme is this review:
I was shown a piece that, I was told, Melania Trump had bought that morning: a black lambskin bustier dress with tiered ruffles, so shiny as to resemble silk-satin. Now, granted, this kind of thing is the designer John Galliano’s forte — the Marie Antoinette-cum-Scarlett O’Hara-cum-imperial concubine look. But something about its lavish detail and conspicuous expense evoked, for me, the recent excesses of the Wild Wild East: Moscow bling nonpareil. Criminal rococo.
Ordinarily I walk out of dressing rooms and swish around before the sales staff (particularly when, like Mr. Smith, they have been so attentive) to show them how right they were to suggest the garment, but I couldn’t leave the room in that dress. I felt queasy, as if I were wearing a $9 million birthday party.
On the total package:
Opulence can be many things: fanciful, decadent, luxurious, fun, sexy, mesmerizing. But it is healthy to remember that opulence isn’t actually beauty.
We dare you not to make that last sentence your Facebook status. Read the rest of Wilson’s review (for there is a great deal more of it) here.
At Dior, a New Look That’s More of a Sneer [The New York Times]