SIMON SAYS: Show week, which is about as theatrical as fashion gets, has a new critic.
New York magazine’s acerbic theater critic, John Simon, was among the show-goers last week, giving his opinions to Jeanne Beker, host of FT-FashionTelevision, for a segment that will air next month.
“I went to three of them in one day,” Simon told WWD. “Obviously, I’m not an expert. I saw Carolina Herrera, Cynthia Rowley and Bob Mackie, which was a cross section of the world of fashion from conservative to swinging to Hollywood.”
So how does a fashion show compare with real theater?
“In real theater, when it’s good, it’s better. But when it’s bad, it’s about the same or worse,” said Simon.
He said he saw some beautiful dresses on the runways that look wonderful on the models.
“But who would wear them? Either rich women or unattractive young people who can afford them. And where can you wear them? It’s an amusing hoax. I feel sorry for old, miserable women who are buying this stuff who think they can profit from it. In a way, it’s like going to a museum and seeing gorgeous paintings, but you can’t afford them.
“Plays, books and movies you can bring home and read,” he continued. “But these gorgeous gowns and dresses…there’s no way you can get them. It’s a tantalizing thing that really leads to nothing.”
But one thing the fashion industry has going for it that the theater world does not is beautiful women, said Simon.
“The women who end up in theater, for the most part, are very unattractive,” said Simon. “If you’re attractive, you go into TV, movies and modeling. What’s left for the theater is not very appetizing to look at.”
CARTOON ALLEY: Isaac Mizrahi is putting together a comic book about the fashion world. It follows the adventures of Sandee, a 30-year-old model from Bountiful, Utah, and her pal “Yvesaac,” a designer with a vaguely familiar penchant for wearing a rolled bandana headband. In the course of three volumes, Sandee gets a makeover and lands on the cover of Quality magazine, visits a psychic and appears in a documentary about Yvesaac. Mizrahi wrote the text, which is being published by Simon & Schuster. It hits book stores in November.