Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.


CP: I’m just sitting here, blowing my nose and paging through T, the New York Times’ big fall fashion magazine. Let’s look at it together, as if there was anything more gaily pathetic than that.


RN: I have one request, Hackey McSniffles. If you’re going to sneeze, please refrain from spraying the images of couture.


CP: The world-class photographers for the 47 pages of ads before the table of contents all had the same urgent instruction: “Show me the frickin’ handbag! I don’t care if you travel to Mozambique or Granville, France, birthplace of Monsieur Dior, but I need to see the bag.”


RN: This thing is a monster. I thought there was an old-school White Pages tucked inside my Sunday Times. Of course, it’s nothing next to Vogue’s doorstop of a September issue, which chimes in at 832 pages. No wonder it’s called the Super Bowl of Fashion. I’m going to roll it up and use it for bicep curls.


CP: After weeks of meetings at the highest level, the decision was made to do a tutorial on the smoky eye. As happens every odd-numbered year, natch.


RN: And I want to be a part of next year’s locations brainstorming session, so I can suggest more peat bogs, because that’s where women with tens of thousands of dollars of clothes on their backs naturally tend to congregate.


CP: I fear if you were in charge, we’d see nothing but Ivy League campus backdrops, with clothes by Brooks Bros. and J. Crew. But I digress.


RN: Yes, you do. Look, three out of 11 items in this outerwear spread top $10,000. It reminds me of when Joan Cusack sees the price tag on a cocktail dress in the movie “Working Girl” and gasps, “$6,000? It’s not even leather,” although, she pronounced it leh-thuh. When a fashion magazine publishes “price on request,” is that a polite way of saying, “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it”?


CP: I bet there is published-price snobbery, as in, “Dearheart, please tell me you did not buy that coat that had its actual price listed in the popular press.”


RN: My favorite headline? “Sensible Panties: In praise of Germanic undergarments, Bauhaus for the body.” How great is that?


CP: I am all for fashion journalism that is aspirational, but this fall book was as predictable as staticky music when we are put on hold at our insurance company. Little dispatches from Paris and Menorca, a Marc Jacobs profile (yawn) and some boilerplate about a revived decade, in this case the 1970s.


RN: Well, hats off to the shout-out to Minneapolitans Kale and Aubry Walch and their Herbivorous Butcher. On the day the magazine came out, the siblings took to Twitter to announce that they had sold out of their vegan meat alternatives.


CP: That billowy, pleated, $7,000 Lanvin maxi-dress looks like it was made from curtains torn from the apartment of a lifetime chain smoker.


RN: Even pre-rehab, Stevie Nicks wouldn’t have been caught dead twirling in that thing.


CP: I hate to sign off having nothing nice to say.


E-mail: witheringglance@startribune.com

Twitter: @claudepeck and @RickNelsonStrib