About Me

Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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  • The Ugliest Fashion Trend for Spring

    By kyle | April 16, 2015

    Guess what it is? A column.

    Topics: Fashion | 1 Comment »

    Inside Fashion Week

    By kyle | September 14, 2012

    Me? At Fashion Week? I’m the guy who gets the Lands’ End catalog and thinks, “Too edgy.” Nevertheless, like a lamb on a freeway I was ordered to step forth. My column on the runway shows is up.

    Topics: Fashion, New York City | 5 Comments »

    Fat Models Don’t Help with the Self-Esteem Thing

    By kyle | March 22, 2010

    Apparently plus-sized, “real” or fat models don’t actually make overweight women feel better about themselves. Via Instapundit we learn that looking at fat people doesn’t make you feel celebrated, empowered and appreciated. It just kinda makes you feel…fat.

    Topics: Advertising, Fashion | 4 Comments »

    Roly-Poly Role Models

    By kyle | January 10, 2010

    Plus-sized models: Should we cheer them — or are they just encouraging more American fatties to have another piece of pie? More in my Sunday column.

    Topics: Europe, Fashion, Magazines, Politics | 7 Comments »

    Review: “Coco Before Chanel”

    By kyle | September 25, 2009

    Audrey Tautou turns in a grumpy performance in the cold and leaden biopic, “Coco Before Chanel.” My review is up. Warning: I made a pun in French. I couldn’t resist.

    Topics: Europe, Fashion, History, Movies | No Comments »

    Why Steve McQueen Was Cool

    By kyle | September 3, 2009

    The Journal has a story on the fashion world’s current obsession with Steve McQueen, who died in 1980 but whose style is being channeled by designers at Dolce & Gabbana, Thom Browne, J. Crew, Tag Heuer and Persol. With some bewilderment, the writer asks, Why?

    his look is so restrained—and incorporates so many of today’s basics—that those who haven’t seen his movies can strain to understand the allure. His clothes were neutral-colored and plain: flat-front chinos, suede desert boots, straight-leg jeans, windbreakers, shawl-collar cardigans, T-shirts and sweat shirts. They were simply classic American casual clothing.

    But the answer comes, like McQueen, naturally:

    That understatement is an essential part of his appeal to designers today. Mr. McQueen wore clothes that didn’t scream to be seen. In an economic environment where conspicuous fashion is frowned upon, sobriety may be an easier sell, especially for men, who generally don’t want their clothes to draw too much attention.

    Not begging to be looked at is cool. Not (to be seen to be) trying too hard is cool. Not obsessing over your ‘look’ is cool. Steve McQueen was cool..

    Topics: Fashion, Movies | 2 Comments »

    Review: “The September Issue”

    By kyle | August 27, 2009

    Vogue editrix Anna Wintour evidently consented to have a documentary filmed around her to counteract the frightening image of her in “The Devil Wears Prada.” R.J. Cutler’s doc “The September Issue” opens this weekend. My review is up.

    Topics: Art, Fashion, Magazines, Movies, New York City | No Comments »

    A Wintour’s Tale

    By kyle | August 17, 2009

    My Post colleague Serena French slices up “The September Issue,” the upcoming documentary about Vogue and its freaky-scary editrix Anna Wintour. Wintour apparently comes off looking pretty much like a heartless crone in the movie, I’ve heard. But that’s the magic of doc cinema: Convince somebody that you’re going to make them a big-screen star, then let them hang themselves.

    Topics: Fashion, Magazines, Movies, New York City | No Comments »

    Stop the Maxi Dress!

    By kyle | July 26, 2009

    In my Sunday column I ask: What is the deal with those floor length “maxi dresses” New York women are wearing this summer? Where did this urban burqa come from?

    Topics: Fashion, New York City | 2 Comments »

    Get Ready for the Crayola Men!

    By kyle | February 5, 2009

    Department of possibly-alarming-but-probably-fictitious trends: men’s shirts for spring are going to be offered in lilac, pink, orange and cobalt. Color me skeptical: real men don’t wear lilac. These shirts are going to be piling up unsold. I and most guys I know will not be seen pimped out in orange or yellow. (Although cobalt blue doesn’t sound that different from the French blue shirts of the 90s, which I like.)

    Topics: Advertising, Fashion | 12 Comments »

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