Just as we booked our ticket to board the Lady Gaga-train the pop tart has to go and start mouthing off right before departure, making us very wary of boarding. This morning, WWDreports that the fashion-crazed Mother Monster has taken to her latest column for V Magazine to diss one of our favorite fashion critics, The New York Times' Cathy Horyn. Hear that sound? That's us hitting the breaks and skidding uncontrollably off the road in shock and horror. Gaga -- this was not a wise move. Horyn has been covering fashion for the Times since 1998, taking over as the chief fashion critic in 2003 after being awarded the Eugenia Shepard Award, courtesy of the CFDA, the previous year -- she's no dummy and this ain't her first rodeo.
So, what insights, praytell, could Gaga -- a 25-year-old pop singer/songwriter -- possibly impart on this industry veteran? What riveting pearls of wisdom could Ms. Germanotta shed light upon that has slipped Horyn's mind? Says Gaga: "In the age of the Internet, when collections and performances are so accessible to the public and anyone can post a review on Facebook or Twitter, shouldn't columnists and reviewers, such as Cathy Horyn, employ a more modern and forward approach to criticism, one that separates them from the average individual at home on their laptop?" OH WOW! Thanks Gaga. So you're telling us that the Internet has changed the way people interact with and consume fashion? Very perceptive and duly noted. We're sure that Horyn has never thought of such things. Oh wait. She has already. Many, many times -- seeing as that's her full-time job, and all (sadly, Horyn has yet to dabble in a plethora of other professions, rendering her a jack-of-all-trades...ahem). Gaga also suggests that Horyn hasn't done her homework: "It's much more challenging to reckon with and analyze a work. It requires research, but maybe no one does their research anymore." She then posits, "Does every critic have the soul to really receive a work in the transcendental sense?" Um....good question...?
Well at least Gaga has some suggestions as to what new approaches could be more galvanizing. Blogging, for example. She points to Tavi Gevinson's blog as "prodigious and well-written," adding, "When did the pretense of fashion become more important than its influence on a generation? Why have we decided that one person's opinion matters more than anyone else's?" So her answer is a tween blogger, who she notes, is fawned over by the sister design-duo behind the label Rodarte? Sure, we're fans of Gevinson's blog, and her perspective can be fresh and appealing, but is what Tavi does and what Cathy does so pointedly different? Don't they both use the Internet as a forum to express opinions and connect individual themes to a larger picture? Does Cathy position herself as superior to the 15-year-old or does she just do her job -- report on fashion. Horyn has years of experience -- and thus a much wider frame of reference -- under her belt to help better contextualize the overwhelming barrage of digitally-voiced opinions -- which, in today's culture, allows anyone with a high-speed connection and computer the ability to call themselves an expert on a subject that interests them . Even fashion, an industry that so blatantly favors newness, ultimately looks to stalwarts to cut through the static and present clarity and considered thoughtfulness. Perhaps with incessantly-growing assemblage of superficial fans adding to the growing volume of chatter, it's more important than ever to take note of the opinions and analyses of authorities. After all, not everyone is handed a monthly column on a platter.
Sometimes, isn't a dress just a dress?