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We should have known the long-running verbal feud between New York Times fashion writer Cathy Horyn and Saint Laurent creative director Hedi Slimane didn't peak with last season's name calling. Horyn published a Paris Fashion Week piece this morning evaluating the importance of labels and used Slimane's rebranding and latest collection as her Exhibit A. The collection was divisive among many critics, but Horyn re-established her position as fashion writing's sharpest tongue with her calculated jabs at the designer. We counted four. Check them out after the jump and let us know if we missed any suckerpunches.
1. The opening jab: Take Saint Laurent. One of the first things the new designer, Hedi Slimane, did was to remove "Yves" from the label, thereby severing a symbolic connection to the founder, and everything he stood for, like good taste and feminine power.
2. The passive aggressive jab: Mr. Slimane has been the talk of Paris Fashion Week, or at least the closing days, largely because he showed a grunge collection of baby-doll dresses and flannel shirts, which I viewed online because I was not invited to the show.
3. The agressive agressive jab: And the controversy is good for Saint Laurent. But mainly it was clear to me how strong the name is. In terms of design, the clothes held considerably less value than a box of Saint Laurent labels. Without the label attached to them, Mr. Slimane's grunge dresses wouldn't attract interest—because they're not special. But a box of labels is worth a million.
4. The lemon juice in the open wound jab: Hermès stands in sharp contrast to the Saint Laurent show and its lazy values.