Cathy Horyn addresses her absence from YSL in her show review for the New York Times

posted on: Tuesday, 2 October 2012


There have been many dramas at Paris Fashion Week for Spring Summer 2013 including lost collections, incorrect VIP seating and "lost in the post" ticket debacles. This is all pretty much par for the course. We've come to expect it and most of these dramas happen and then are quickly forgotten by the masses. However, one drama seems to have gathered quite a bit of attention. It was announced, by several sources on twitter and on fashion's most trusted source Women's Wear Daily, that Cathy Horyn, fashion critic for the New York Times, was not invited to the YSL show this season. There weren't reports that she hadn't received the ticket or that it was all some sort of mix up. It was clear she was persona non grata. Well, Cathy Horyn, being a true fashion critic, wrote a review of the show regardless. In said review she took a few paragraphs to address the situation and explain to the general public why she wasn't invited to the show:

I was not invited. Despite positive reviews of his early YSL and Dior collections, as well as a profile, Mr. Slimane objected bitterly to a review I wrote in 2004 — not about him but Raf Simons. Essentially I wrote that without Mr. Simons’s template of slim tailoring and street casting, there would not have been a Hedi Slimane — just as there would never have been a Raf Simons without Helmut Lang. Fashion develops a bit like a genetic line.
Anyway, Mr. Slimane insisted that he was the first to show the skinny suit. It was a silly debate. Who cares? As time went on, he also felt (as best as I can tell) that I gave preference to Mr. Simons in my coverage of the men’s shows. If I gave him attention, it was because his work and my reporting into the key early part of his career merited it. I haven’t spoken to Mr. Slimane in five years.
When I raised the invitation matter with his boss, Francois-Henri Pinault, the chief executive of PPR, which owns Saint Laurent, Mr. Pinault expressed dismay. “That’s ridiculous,” he said. “Journalists should be invited to shows.” Quite so. But I suspected that Mr. Pinault was in a jam. Having given Mr. Slimane much authority to remake Saint Laurent, he could scarcely take it away from him.
Now that's calling it like you see it. If there were ever a woman in this world of fashion who is truly fearless, it's Cathy Horyn. While we don't claim to take sides here or claim to know the whole back story, it is an interesting little fashion désaccord. Her review is one that is worth a read for an interesting perspective on the collection.

As for Fashion Foie Gras, you'll hear nothing but fabulous things said about Slimane's latest collection for YSL. It was a beautiful first step in what is surely to be a wonderful collaboration over time. I can't claim to have anywhere near the fashion knowledge as the legendary Cathy Horyn but I do like to think I can spot a good thing when it presents itself and this collection isn't just good, it's sensational.

UPDATE: It seems Cathy Horyn wasn't the only one banned from the YSL show. Business of Fashion's Imran Amed just published a piece stating he too was shunned this season and for the strangest reasons.... YSL (or should I say SL?)... what is going on here?