The appeal of Cathy Horyn, and one of the reasons we return to her criticisms again and again, is that she is fearless in many ways. She'll pan a well-received collection, give praise when no one else does, and dares to recommend low-cost, recession-friendly items like a $290 Opening Ceremony top.
Okay, we are being a bit cruel, because Horyn's piece on shopping for spring with a critical eye does indeed refer to $290 as being "low-end," but it also spotlights on-trend pieces from Celia Birtwell's Uniqlo collection ($29.90) and Macy's. She also aptly criticizes the increasing "precious-ization" of fashion, in which stores refer to clothing as "pieces" or formless objets d'art that aren't meant to be worn, but experienced. With this in mind, however, her spring shopping guide is still worth a good chuckle, with Horyn referring to an $1,180 Christopher Kane dress as reasonably priced — which it may be, for Christopher Kane, but it certainly isn't for the rest of the world.
In theory, she might be correct: Spotting runway trends at Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys and then finding them elsewhere is a practical way to shop. Yet, in practice, she seems wildly tone deaf, unsure of whether or not she was tired of spring or just tired of shopping, especially when she hits blue-chip stores like Five Story or Kirna Zabête. Her conclusion — that clothes are best when released from "fashion's grip" — makes sense...but even when she is suggesting that, her grip on "fashion" appears to be mighty strong. (New York Times)