Vogue Fashion : Over 100 years of Style by Decade and Designer, in association with Vogue

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-10-10
  • Publisher: Firefly Books Ltd
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Comprehensive and lavishly illustrated -- a who's who of fashion.Published in association with Vogue magazine, Vogue Fashion is the definitive style bible for everyone interested in the past, present and future of fashion. It takes a fresh look at fashion history, charting the evolution from corsets to 21st-century trends.This stylish book chronicles all the significant designers, developments and movements of more than a hundred years of fashion -- from the 1920s flapper through the war years, from Christian Dior's New Look to the Swinging Sixties, from New Romanticism to punk to postmillenium styles. Among current designers featured are Vera Wang, Roberto Cavalli, Luella Bartley, Zac Posen, Roland Mouret and Viktor and RoIf.An A to Z section highlights over 250 of the greatest designers of all time -- the men and women who have inspired, created and altered the course of fashion. Illustrated with many eye-catching archival images, Vogue Fashion also features the work of the photographers who have helped immortalize seminal fashion moments.Vogue Fashion is an informative and inspirational look at how fashion reflects and projects social mores and individual values.

Author Biography

Linda Watson is a fashion journalist who has contributed to numerous magazines and newspapers. She was a fashion writer for Vogue magazine for four years and is the co-author of Vogue's More Dash Than Cash.

Table of Contents

The Decades
The Designers
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


IntroductionDressing is the fourth bodily function. After breathing, eating and sleeping -- and excluding a couple of delicious optional extras -- one of the fundamental pleasures of the human body is to clothe it. Which makes fashion -- it's closest relation -- pretty important.The history of fashion touches everyone in its orbit. It runs far, far deeper than hemlines, silhouettes and colours. It is intrinsically caught up with social mores and mood changes in everything from food to mannerisms, music to sex. It lives and exists not only as one of the most ravishing and compelling of entertainments but as the surest indicator of time. Humour has always been part of its charm.Throughout the twentieth century, Vogue has acted as a visual filter. Each season designers have thrown ideas into the air and Vogue has caught them and sprinkled them over its pages. It has always been down to the century's social animals -- and significant figures -- whether designs transcended history or froze in suspended animation. Diana, Princess of Wales, had everything: genetic perfection, model dimensions, royal connections and the mystique of a silent-movie star. Add fashion, and the result was that she became the most photographed woman on the planet.In 1909 electricity was a new sensation, and it was shocking if a woman showed an ankle. By 1916, if she smoked in public, Vogue concluded, 'She must be an actress.' If she wore red lipstick, she was the next best thing to a prostitute. The wearing of a veil had orgasmic powers. Trousers were slammed as 'audacious'. If bumsters had been around, Alexander McQueen would have been locked up and labelled certifiable.Today, following the new millennium, no one bats an eyelid if dresses skim the nipples, navels are exposed and the bottom half of the buttocks are aired to ancient relatives. Nudity -- the natural conclusion -- will never be in fashion, not just because the weather wouldn't allow it, but because it is the only style that would put the whole industry on social security.Ever since Eve wore a fig leaf, fashion has been associated with two things: defining sexuality and committing outrageous behaviour. Even fastenings aren't immune. Consider the zip -- 'Zippergate' -- a little metal fastening that almost brought down the president of America in 1998.The biggest change has been in the status of the designer, who until the 1950s was considered a dictator, then a director and a suggester. Now he or she airs their opinions, controls huge empires and emblazons their name across every part of your anatomy. In turn, we want to see where they live, hear what they think, find out how they function. We sleep on their pillowcases, pull their curtains across our windows, spray ourselves with their scent: the most potent way to get style under the skin.The fly-past of designers' behaviour throughout the last century is a seminal lesson to those who are thinking of taking up fashion design professionally. The most financially successful designers have brilliant business partners; the most creative have a single vision; the most famous are those who either have visionary tendencies or big mouths. Sometimes both. Then there are the handful of geniuses who put beauty and art before everything -- and inevitably ended up with nothing: the great Orientalist, Paul Poiret, once held the fashion world in the palm of his hand; the brilliant Ossie Clark, who could cut like a dream but couldn't handle his own talent; Charles James, who was posthumously revered, but spent his declining years in New York's seedy Chelsea Hotel with sketches, toiles and an Afro wig for company. Passion and fashion -- unless there is a business brain in the frame -- just don't mix.Age and body shape are part of the fashion template. In 1909 the face said 20, the waist said 15, the bosom 50. Flappers started smoking furiously in an attempt to echo th

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