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The World According to Cathy Horyn

Journalist Cathy Horyn has guided the Gray Lady through the chameleonlike world of fashion for seven years. Hers is a job that demands not only unerring taste but also the stamina to withstand 250 runway shows in three cities—not to mention the occasional hysterical phone call from a designer (Donatella Versace once rang up screaming, Horyn says. "I couldn't understand a word she said."). She certainly has become if not a diva then a force in the industry: She won the Eugenia Sheppard award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America and coauthored the late Bill Blass's 2002 memoir, Bare Blass, that same year. As the fall shows begin, Horyn reviews her own elements of style.

The worst trend of the last ten years? That's easy: low-riding jeans. We've seen too many stomachs we shouldn't have seen.

I met John Barrett 16 years ago when I was doing a story on Marianne Faithfull, and he set me up with the Rolling Stones' manager. He's been doing my hair ever since.

When I land in Milan, 10 Corso Como is the first place I go. Carla Sozzani consistently surprises me.

I love grilling hamburgers at home—really nice sirloin that's been ground that day. That afternoon. That hour.

I carry simple, sturdy luggage from Wal-Mart. When I see people's Prada suitcases all dented and scratched, I think, No thanks.

Bill Blass told me this: "When you get an award, don't dress as if it's the only time you'll ever get one."

My uniform is Narciso Rodriguez, Azzedine Alaïa, and Notify. They all have tailoring in common. Narciso I love. A lot.

I don't carry a bag, just a little Ferragamo wallet with money and credit cards.

I put on two-inch heels to write. I fon't like being flat on the ground.

In Paris I go swimming at the public pools and at The Ritz. In Milan I sneak into the pool at the Principe. But they don't know that.

I quit smoking 11 months ago and now my skin is better. Vanity wasn't the motive; it was the discovery.