Fashion journalists walk a fine line between doing their jobs and not pissing off designers. It’s why we, after attending the epic spring 2010 Snuggie fashion show, did not wear the Snuggie in the gift bag to our next show — Rodarte — even though we were dying to experience the hilarity. Labels can threaten to pull advertising or ban editors and writers from shows in exchange for the kind of coverage they want. In many instances they get it. Almost two years ago, Cathy Horyn wrote about being banned from Giorgio Armani’s show following a review of a couture collection that didn’t sit well with him. She later learned that several of her fellow fashion sisters had been banned as well. Horyn had previously been banned from Dolce & Gabbana, Helmut Lang, and Carolina Herrera, and her 2008 column on the matter remains one of the greatest, most honest articles about the subject.
The latest high-profile ban is rather shocking. Balenciaga has severed ties (undoubtedly temporarily) with French Vogue. Carine Roitfeld and her editors did not attend yesterday’s fall 2010 show in Paris.
“We’re blacklisted,” Roitfeld said with a shrug at Nina Ricci later in the day. “It’s too bad, it’s a beautiful house and it’s French. I hope that it’s not forever.”
Roitfeld added that the label no longer lends them clothes or advertises in the magazine, but did not say what she did to make them so upset. Armani banned Horyn for not writing positive reviews and supposedly making “unnecessarily sarcastic comments” about his friends and family. French Vogue’s offense may have been something like breaking up a Balenciaga look. Stylist Venetia Scott spoke not too long ago about the present-day nature of styling for magazines, and how houses often try to forbid magazines from mixing their pieces with those from other labels, which entirely defeats the point of styling.
But in the meantime, who’s at a greater loss? Carine or Balenciaga?