Whose wonderfully wicked idea was to to unleash Cintra Wilson on "The Critical Shopper" in today's Styles section of the New York Times? Did the Gray Lady's editors think we wouldn't recognize a pink-haired saboteuse when we saw her byline--associated not (as you'd expect) with a story about fetish temple Kiki de Montparnasse or some other SoHo boho bazaar, but above a review of a the haute-haute-haute Valentino boutique on Madison Avenue?
In case you aren't familiar with Cintra Wilson, here's some background. She crashed onto the San Francisco media scene about a decade ago with scathingly hyperbolic, angry, funny, left-of-left columns in the old Hearst-owned Examiner. Since then, she's written a couple of books and contributed essays to Salon and Huffington Post that have been aptly compared to vivisections. She's got attitude, that girl, and the Times has a history of getting squeamish about too much attitude, so one wonders what's up. No complaints, though. In fact: Please, ma'am, may we have some more?
As Lisa Schmeiser observes over at The Rage Diaries (a very fine blog I recommend wholeheartedly), "The Critical Shopper"--a mainstay of what many of us devotees call "the sports section for girls"-- hasn't been notable for its boat-rocking. Today's column, in a word, rocks. Not only that, but, as Lisa points out, "Someone also actually edited Wilson, a process I imagine might require actual use of a whip and a chair, and the results are delightful."
See for yourself:
Valentino appears to see the ideal Society Wife today as a streamlined luxury toddler. Current pieces evoke the Pampered-with-a-capital-P innocence of the nursery, yet defy the vigor of either youth or sex. In the baby-doll dresses, there is no ironic infantilism (that flirty “kinderwhore” cuteness that winks at pedophilia) but a kind of learned helplessness that waves a limp hand at actual infirmity.
I was curious about a beige lace minidress with a jeweled strap over one shoulder ($4,490). Something I might wear to an inaugural toga party? It was spayed yet subversive. In it, I resembled a French Quarter beignet forced to resort to prostitution to support my powdered-sugar habit.
Ooohhh, that's good. Read the whole article right now.