There is certainly no shortage of people who love the deliciously catty and painfully honest fashion criticism served up by people like Cathy Horyn and Eric Wilson. But we’re willing to bet that those people might have skipped over Cintra Wilson, and we want to rectify that.
Wilson, The New York Times‘ Critical Shopper, reviews boutiques and big box stores alike. She’s just as unabashedly (and unashamedly) honest, witty and incisive as Horyn and the other Wilson, and often twice as fun to read.
She proved that in her review of the new Reed Krakoff store on New York’s Madison Ave. Wilson decried the opening of such a clearly expensive store by a new (and unproved) designer just down the block from places like Lanvin and Prada as, well, kinda foolish. Krakoff, Wilson says, is trying to use the Coach bankroll to buy his way into greatness he has not yet achieved.
But the review is more about the store and the clothes in it, and Wilson isn’t hard pressed to say what she does and doesn’t like:
My interest was piqued by a thick little black dress that I assumed was wrought from Kevlar seat-belt material; only between my fingers did it reveal itself to be a particularly butch gauge of linen. I was not convinced the designer was aware that the safety-regulation appearance of the dress made the mannequin (which was jointed, like a pose-able drawing model) resemble a crash-test dummy — an impression reinforced by orthopedic-looking accessories nearby, like an ivory fur-wool whiplash collar.
Despite my tendency to disregard artistic prestige obtained via the vulgar mechanisms of brute wealth, I did like stuff. Much of the heavy metal jewelry would be ideal for hand-to-hand combat: shiny gunmetal chain-links of a girth normally seen around the waists of bicycle messengers; bracelets resembling the hardware required to break a psychotic horse.
That last paragraph nearly killed us, but this review gets better! Not for Mr. Krakoff or his store, but for readers:
Perhaps the most puzzling accessory was the “Beaver suspenders” ($3,200), a strappy black lederhosen-like contraption with wide beaver-pelt mudflaps on each hip. I couldn’t make sense of it, but it would certainly keep your kidneys warm if you were out poaching mastodons. The video of Mr. Krakoff’s runway show, projected on a wall, was little help. When the model Karlie Kloss, who is nine feet tall and has thighs the circumference of a tangelo, wears this totalitarian beaver-enforcement garment, she looks like the box her dishwasher came in. There is little doubt that if I wore it, people would call me Mr. Baggins and beg me to destroy the Ring.
There’s a lot more wit and fire where that came from. We implore you to read the rest of the review and nearly spit out your Corn Flakes and roll on the floor in laughter the way we did this morning.
[Via The New York Times]