Fran Lebowitz, the New York author, humorist, and natty dresser, is a master of the sardonic one-liner.
That talent was at full force in a hilarious interview Lebowitz gave to Elle.com in which she talked about her trademark style, which includes tortoiseshell glasses and a uniform of Levi’s, a men’s button-down shirt, and a blazer.
Among the targets of her wit were Warby Parker, the purveyor of inexpensive glasses worn by the hipster masses, and men who offend her sensibilities in leg-baring shorts. She also took a stand against yoga pants and the “athleisure” trend (albeit for different reasons than actor Eva Mendes last week).
(Quartz has reached out to Warby Parker for comment and will update with any response.)
It’s worth reading Elle’s full interview, but here are some of our favorite moments:
On Warby Parker:
I feel very strongly that almost the entire city has copied my glasses. I went to a fashion show during fashion week, and everyone there had on my eyeglasses. Warby Parker has also copied my eyeglasses.
Here’s what started happening: A few years ago, kids—and by which I mean, my friends’ kids—started coming up to me and saying, ‘Fran, where’d you get those vintage glasses?’
And I said, ‘They’re not vintage. I’ve just owned them for a long time. They are vintage in the way I am.’
On Brooks Brothers:
I used to buy all my shirts at Brooks [Brothers], but that was completely ruined about 20 years ago. They discontinued the shirt I liked. If I had only known this—I mean, if you’re going to discontinue an item that thousands and thousands of people buy, announce it. Say, ‘We will no longer be making our excellent Brooks Brothers cotton shirts that we made for 5,000 years. We’re going to change them in some awful way. We’re alerting you so you can buy a lifetime supply.’ Shirts don’t go bad, they’re not peaches.
It used to be that adults did not wear jeans—not men, unless they were construction workers—only teenagers wore them. But I guess my generation just said, “We’re going to keep wearing them until we die, because we’re almost there.”
On platform shoes:
The first time I ever saw platform shoes in the ’70s, I knew they’d been revived from the ’40s, and I felt sickened. And for whatever reason, they keep getting revived. They’ve come back four times. I wish we could let them die. They want to die.
On men in shorts:
I have to say that one of the biggest changes in my lifetime, is the phenomenon of men wearing shorts. Men never wore shorts when I was young. There are few things I would rather see less, to tell you the truth. I’d just as soon see someone coming toward me with a hand grenade. This is one of the worst changes, by far. It’s disgusting. To have to sit next to grown men on the subway in the summer, and they’re wearing shorts? It’s repulsive. They look ridiculous, like children, and I can’t take them seriously.
On bike helmets:
The trademark of New York City fashion used to be that we dressed more seriously here. More formally. Now people need special costumes to ride bicycles. I mean, a helmet, what, are you an astronaut?
On yoga pants:
All these clothes that you see people wearing, the yoga clothes—even men wear them!—it’s just another way of being in pajamas.
On New Yorkers’ style:
I sometimes feel like handing out citations.
On yoga pants again:
I mean, I always thought it would be much wittier for drag queens to dress in this very drab way. You know, the yoga pants? Well, what if drag queens just really let themselves go, pretending not to try, like most women?
On Hillary Clinton:
I think her lack of style comes naturally.
On red carpet fashion at the Academy Awards
Act! You know how to act, you’re an actor. You’re about to win an award for (I don’t know) convincingly playing that Venezuelan nun who went to war. Now act like you can wear this dress.