04 October 2012: UPDATE
After Hedi Slimane referred to Cathy Horyn as 'a schoolyard bully,' WWD asked for her reaction. 'It’s just silly nonsense to me', she said. So that's the end of that, right? Wrong. The designer took to Twitter (again) to say: 'The perfect integrity of the New York Times, and its writers, is not precisely 'just silly nonsense' and then came this:
Oh dear. As if that wasn't enough, Lady Gaga has joined the debate via Twitter too. The singer has a well-documented feud with Cathy Horyn - declaring that her 'style ain't dick' in new rap song Cake - so it was no surprise to see her retweeting Slimane’s open letter to the Times critic before adding the comments below:
03 October 2012: Hedi Slimane Responds To Backlash
Uh oh. Hedi Slimane has found himself in the middle of a full-on fash-fight. Since the designer debuted his first ready-to-wear collection for Yves Saint Laurent during Paris Fashion Week, the backlash has gained apace.
First fans were miffed that Slimane changed the name and logo of the legendary fashion house. Then guests at the catwalk show complained of being treated shabbily before less-than-glowing reviews of his Spring Summer 2013 collection emerged.
Things really kicked into action when Lisa Armstrong expressed her frustration at the way Saint Laurent dealt with the press at the show on Monday:
Next, Imran Amed, editor-in-chief of The Business of Fashion, wrote a revealing article entitled 'A Wake-Up Call for YSL’s PR Team', which details the way PRs have handled the rebranding. Apparently he was asked to revise every piece BoF has published about the French fashion house and was denied an invitation to the catwalk show because of BoF’s 'tone of voice' (he managed to sneak in none the less).
And there's more. Today, an open letter to Hedi Slimane written by Laura Craik has been printed in The Times which addresses the unwelcoming atmosphere at the catwalk show as well as the the hoo-ha surrounding which name(s) the media should — and shouldn't — use:
'You can’t control everything,' Craik continues. 'All the things you seem to love and value — music, fun, sexiness — require freedom. You have yours. I have mine. Without it, we are nothing.'
Even fashion bible WWD has waded into the debate by hinting at Slimane's uber-control in their review of Chanel’s latest collection. Referring to Karl Lagerfeld, it reads:
So what does Hedi have to say in the face of the backlash? Yesterday, the designer tweeted an open letter addressed to Cathy Horyn following her piece in the New York Times in which she slammed his Saint Laurent collection. , in which she explained that Slimane had barred her from the show because he was offended by something she wrote back in 2004.
He scathingly refers to her as 'a schoolyard bully' and an 'average writer', mocking a book she wrote about Bill Blass and calling her personal style 'seriously challenged.' Yikes. Then he asks her to check out the brand's revamped website which currently features nothing more than a err, leopard print blanket. The question is: what exactly constitutes a 'bully'?
Let us know whose side you're taking in this fashwan spat.