Hedi Slimane’s debut as the new designer at Yves Saint Laurent has not been all champagne and roses. Diane Von Furstenberg (above) approves of his first collection, declaring the clothes “pure Saint Laurent.” But not everyone is a fan of “skinny suit” champion Slimane, the subject of today’s Observer profile. Handbags at dawn at Paris Fashion Week as he called New York Times fashion writer Cathy Horyn “provincial” and “average” after she dismissed his first womenswear show as “nice but frozen.” Elsewhere his show was described as “underwhelming” and greeted by “muted applause and hushed voices.” Miaow. Bet he wishes he’d stayed in menswear.
Click here for link to “Catty” (Slimane’s expression) Horan’s original review.
Interesting responses to the Observer profile. The Guardian’s Alex Needham tweeted: “I know Hedi well. He is a fine, kind man – nothing like the person depicted in your piece.” Elsewhere on Twitter: “shamefully entertaining”, “beautiful write-up”, “Slimane gets a (not entirely undeserved) mauling”. Guardian online comments mostly focus on the readers’ deep-seated loathing for fashion (slightly mystifying why they clicked on a fashion piece but never mind): “Lifestyles of the spoilt and petulant”, “Who gives a frock?” “The fashion industry is […] heavily over-populated by children.” Never mind, YSL. No such thing as bad publicity…
Diane von Furstenberg pic by David Shankbone. Paris Match pic by Pink Moose.
Writing in today’s Independent about the Turner Prize. Now the Prize may spontaneously combust, safe in the knowledge that it has reached the limits of its powers. Because this year it features a work of art which depicts turds having sex with other turds. Favourite quote from The Sun: “Judges hail drawings of turds as ‘compelling life project.'”
‘This is not art’ chalk pic by Loran Davis.
What a humdinger that was. Episode Three reviewed here. Poor, poor Edith. All that’s left for her now is to become a driving instructor. Poor, poor Matthew. He really doesn’t want Ginger Lavinia’s money at all, does he? And poor, poor Sybil. She has been pregnant for about three years.
Covering for Suzanne Moore again this week in the Mail on Sunday, with a column on JK Rowling’s freakin’ swearfest in The Casual Vacancy. Lots of the reviews have centred on the themes being too gritty. I didn’t mind that as much as the preachy message – and the expletives in every paragraph. Plus: why Downton’s the real winner at the Emmy’s, the scandal of midwifery numbers in London and banning Borat’s mankini.
Click here for today’s Mail on Sunday column, where I’m standing in for Suzanne Moore this week. There’s the woman who unmoored a Dartmouth passenger ferry, shouting, “I’m Jack Sparrow!” — before hitting a £70,000 catamaran. Gwyneth Paltrow and Cameron Diaz as Obama’s fund-raising marshmallow twins. The Litvinenko case six years on. And why I’m much more sorry than Nick Clegg could ever be. Sorry I ever voted for the Lib Dems.
Old women are not hideous! No matter what this rather fascinating 16th century portrait of a “woman” (really?) may be trying to prove. (I love it, though.) Writing in the Independent about Mary Beard, Fiona Bruce and the BBC’s many excuses about why there are no silver-haired women reading the news. Or very many older women doing anything much at all. Shame on you!
Portrait of A Grotesque Old Woman or The Ugly Duchess by Quentin Matsys (1513). Black and white pic by Ann from Detroit.
Downton’s back! And so is the series blog! Click here for review of Series Three, Episode One. Verdict: promising. Not quite as trashy as Series Two. But not as polished as Series One either. And I am still trying to work out whether they actually, technically, properly got married.
Hurrah! It’s back! Great excitement about the return of Downton Abbey. Click here for pre-match analysis (no spoilers). The new Guardian series blog will go up 30 seconds after the end of tonight’s episode. And at the same time every Sunday thereafter. The comments usually get heated on Monday morning. Just like Mrs Patmore’s soup.
Writing in the Independent about a study reported in the New Scientist linking Alzheimer’s and junk food. “Health warnings are having no impact on behaviour. “Look! Now you won’t just deteriorate physically, you’ll deteriorate mentally, too!” As a motivating statement, it’s not going to work.” My strategy? Ban BOGOFs (Buy One Get One Free). Because I cannot resist them.
Doughnut pic by Anna Maj Michelson. Pancake pic by Joshua.
The Book of the Month in Red’s October issue is Deborah Copaken Kogan’s The Red Book. With that title it was a bit of a shoo-in. It’s like Sex and the City crossed with Cold Feet. But at Harvard. The Red Book is an actual Harvard thing: an update of everyone in your university year, published every five years. This novel follows four university friends who have taken very different paths in life and usually ones they didn’t exactly intend to follow. The Red Book makes them face the lies they’re telling each other and the lies they’re telling themselves. It’s good.
A reader wrote in recently to ask about a book she had seen featured in Red which was like Sex and the City. It was weird because I knew we were about to feature The Red Book so her question felt clairvoyant. I realised after thinking about it for several days that she was actually thinking about The Group by Mary McCarthy, mentioned in Red on a regular basis by me and also by editor Sam Baker. See review here by Elizabeth Day in the Observer. It’s set in the 1930s and is a favourite novel for a lot of people.
Candace Bushnell once described SATC as “a modern-day version of The Group.” There are parallels too with Rona Jaffe’s The Best of Everything, set in the 1950s, and Meg Wolitzer’s The Ten-Year Nap, set in the early 2000s.
Elsewhere in October issue, I’ve written a piece linked to Red’s latest survey into attitudes towards parenting: Emotional Infertility: What Nobody Tells You About Modern Motherhood. What a bumper bonanza.