Cultural critic Fran Lebowitz is the perfect dresser if you enjoy women in men's suit jackets and cowboy boots, and the perfect speaker if you enjoy words. ELLE.com's Kathleen Hale recently sat down with Lebowitz at Burger Heaven (after Lebowitz threatened to cancel the interview if Hale was going to conduct it via the cell phone she used to contact Lebowitz) for a wide-ranging interview on a bunch of shit that Lebowitz hates (yoga pants, men in shorts, glasses jackers) and a few things Lebowitz likes (Dolly Parton). You should read the whole thing because it's absolutely the best celebrity interview of the year so far, but I'm pasting in some highlights below:
Lebowitz on men in 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.
Lebowitz on being copied:
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.
Lebowitz on women and drag queens:
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?
But there are no drag queens like that, because drag queens know how to wear clothes. Can you imagine if women tried as hard as drag queens? We'd be a much more attractive culture. I wouldn't have to give out so many yoga pants citations.
Lebowitz on special bike costumes:
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??
Lebowitz on your lack of beauty:
What's so great thing about clothes is that they're artificial—you can lie, you can choose the way you look, which is not true of natural beauty. So if you're naturally beautiful, wear what you want, but that's .01% of people. Most people just aren't good looking enough to wear what they have on. They should change. They should get some slacks and a nice overcoat.
For instance: remember when the style was incredibly messy hair? That's great if you're a model. But if you're not a model, you would look better if you washed your hair, because you are not beautiful.
Lebowitz on Hilary Clinton's lack of style:
I don't think she cares. I don't think she is interested in how her house looks, where her furniture is from—I don't think she has any visual interests. And there's nothing wrong in not caring. A man who doesn't care about what he looks like, he's applauded. We say, 'Oh, he's not superficial!'
I, myself, am deeply superficial.
Taste is not a matter of what, but of why. Lebowitz's rationale is so sharp and her way of explaining it is so articulate that she has better taste than just about anyone else on the planet. (And I say this as a man who fully intends on wearing shorts as soon as the temperature hits above 75.)
[Image via Getty]