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Open Thread: This Week in Style News

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(I asked the company about the charges, and a spokesman replied, “We designed the prints in collaboration with Vlisco in the Netherlands, the company that has been creating unique Real Dutch Wax fabrics in Holland since 1846 and helps maintains its heritage.” He also pointed out there were models of 16 different nationalities on the runway.)

And now it’s time to move on. To ease our transition back into real life, I recommend a bouquet of fashion/culture cross-over stories, including how Christian Louboutin inspired Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow”; what Carla Bruni-Sarkozy did next after that Versace runway reunion; and an inside peek at how Dwight Howard, center for the Charlotte Hornets, gets dressed. Have a great weekend.

The Story Behind the Image

Paris Fashion Week came to a close Tuesday evening. To cover the week, T’s photographers fanned out across the city to capture Saint Laurent’s show at the Eiffel Tower, Thom Browne’s otherworldly and breathtaking spectacle (in the photo above) — and much more. See our best photos.

Your Style Questions, Answered

Every week on Open Thread, Vanessa will answer a reader’s fashion-related question, which you can send to her anytime via email or Twitter. Questions are edited and condensed.

Q: If (high) fashion is art, what is the difference between an art critic vs. a fashion critic? And why is fashion not covered in the art pages of newspapers like The New York Times? — Marie-Agnès, Montréal

A: While I don’t necessarily agree that fashion, high or not, is art — I think it’s more akin to a decorative art, as it is classified in the museum world, since it involves demands of functionality beyond the aesthetic — I don’t think the difference lies in the forms of criticism, be it art or fashion or film or books, but rather in the subject matter covered.

Fashion has its own specific set of criteria, which goes beyond the pure form or idea to the actual consumer, and its own schedule (shows), which is what sets it apart from art, at least on the most practical level. As to why it isn’t covered in the arts pages, my guess is that is partly a leftover generic division from a time when fashion wasn’t considered quite culturally serious enough to qualify as an “art,” and also a legitimate acknowledgement that clothes are really part of how we live now, and hence belong in the sections that deal with such subjects.

Though honestly, in a digital world, such heritage divisions are increasingly — well, old hat. — VANESSA FRIEDMAN

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