For a moment this fall, it seemed like everyone was in some kind of fight with New York Times critic Cathy Horyn. After she described Oscar de la Renta as “more a hot dog than an éminence grise of American fashion” in a Sept. 13 review of his Spring/Summer 2013 collection, the designer responded in an open letter published in fashion trade newspaper, WWD: “If you have the right to call me a hot dog why do I not have the right to call you a stale 3-day old hamburger?” de la Renta wrote. A few weeks later, Hedi Slimane also wrote an open letter to Horyn, blasting her as a “schoolyard bully” and “average writer.” Horyn, who was not invited to Slimane’s debut for YSL, had reviewed it nonetheless with these choice words: “I expected more from this debut. I had the impression from the clothes of someone disconnected from fashion of the past several years.” Not to be outdone by actual designers, Lady Gaga attacked Horyn in a soundtrack for fashion pal Theirry Mugler’s Spring/Summer 2013 show, reigniting a feud that began in 2011 over Horyn’s disapproval of Donnatella Versace’s decision to dress Gaga. “Cathy Horyn your style ain’t dick,” Lady Gaga sang. “Walk a mile in these foot-high heels, I run in these you ain’t running shit. You chew beef, I wear meat.”
The entire he-said, she-said episode felt very high school, and did no favors for an industry often criticized for being catty and superficial.