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Tartan: Romancing the Plaid Hardcover – October 23, 2007


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Hardcover, October 23, 2007
$233.99 $34.17
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli (October 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847829820
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847829828
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 9.9 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,283,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rosemarie Bravo is the CEO of Burberry. Jeffrey Banks is a Coty award-winning designer of men’s and women’s apparel. Banks has worked with a number of Scottish fabric mills designing tartans of his own. Doria de La Chapelle is a freelance writer and publicist. After covering fashion and beauty for Mademoiselle, she worked as advertising director at Henri Bendel.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

FOREWORD Rose Marie Bravo In 1997 when I accepted the role of chief executive at Burberry, little did I know as I moved my family to England, that my story and my life would be in inextricably linked with the story of tartan and the Burberry plaid, or what is lovingly called in the United Kingdom "the check." The small team that we had selected began to delve into the archives of this very British 150-year-old company. It became exceedingly clear that the Burberry trench coat with its plaid lining was the company's primary icon which conferred instantly on the wearer a sense of quality, status, class, and taste. As I traveled around the world in an effort to understand the DNA and the magic of the brand, I was fascinated by the universal appeal and the emotion that all things tartan had in various cultures. Tartan is an unspoken language that can ellicit a response without one word being spoken. It has the ability to cross national borders, appeal to all generations and both genders. I studied an elderly Italian gentleman in a small village in the middle of Italy proudly sporting his tartan cap or Burberry scarf with a loden coat as well as a twenty-five-year-old gal on the streets of Seoul wearing the same items, creating a totally different impression in my mind. Tartan and plaid, as this book will demonstrate, have the ability to send a variety of messages. I recalled my days merchandising department stores where from time to time several fashion designers would use tartan and plaid in a variety of ways. The most avant-garde creative people used it with a sense of irreverence.How could something so old be made to look modern and hip? A few designers would use plaid in its most traditional manner and color combinations and thus ellicit a sense of heritage, classicism, and longevity in the clothes. Even the manner in which tartan can take color in those unique exciting combinations can add so much personality and style to an ensemble. In the United Kingdom tartan and plaid are ubiquitous. In your daily life you see these patterns used in so many venues and ways they enter your subconscious. So many fine establishments--hotels, restaurants, even castles--use tartan in their décor, and one has an immediate sense of home and belonging, warmth, coziness.You are just waiting for that delicious sweetsmelling, very hot tea to be poured into a fine china cup and saucer. Walking the streets of London on a brisk, gray autumn day one of the most joyous sights would be to see a flock of young children out for a stroll wearing their subtle tartan jumpers or trousers. So, as you browse or read through this beautiful book, enjoy all the dimensions and the references that these patterns can ellicit. Yes, think England and its heritage and the royals, and Scotland and its clans and their pride. And see plaid as a fiery, irreverent banner in fashion and during the holidays where a tartan bow tie speaks volumes about its wearer. But most of all become seduced by the power, the magic, and the mystery inherent in this oldest and most exuberant expression of belonging.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Delightful coffee table book.
George Finn
Great Book, a little hard to find but definitely worth it !
JB105
Great book, very informative and the photos are gorgeous.
Jessica Saylor

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Keogh on November 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
WOW -- I am an author who has written a few illustrated books like this -- and all I can say is this book is LEAGUES above the rest -- amazing photographs and layouts, beautiful paper, beautifully produced. A real labor of love. Although I know a fair amount about fashion, I did not know all that much about tartan... until now. A revealing mix of history, culture, modern tmes, with images ranging from the Duke of Windsor (how lonely -- albeit well dressed he looks...) to Rod Stewart, Princess Diana and the Bay City Rollers. As well as some of my favorite models and designers in the world.

Mr. Banks and Ms. de la Chapelle have done an amazing job. This book is so well written, stunning, and beautifully produced, that it is going to be MY Christmas gift to others this year.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Stylemaven on November 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
You'll be doing the Highland Fling in no time (or at least the Lowland Shim) when you read this terrific book. It's a wonderful history of the fabric and the tome is filled with interesting history and some fun, lighthearted photos - like the guard who's catching a breeze and having his kilt lifted to show . . . well, buy the book and find out. I was very surprised (nicely so) to find out it wasn't just a dry historical analogy but rather a work that examines something we see in everyday life but may not have taken the time to think about.
Stylemaven
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Michael Picucci on November 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I was introduced to this tome it woke up a fashion and hstory perspective that was a new dimension to my being, a very plesant one. This is more than a fashion book - it is hundreds of stories and dazzling images that introduces multidimensional perspection and connection to a very rich and mystical design grid and real stories as to how world famous designers were inspired by the tartan. A facinating read on many levels, rich in imagery and opening up the true mystique of tartan to the unitiated like me.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By George Finn on December 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you love plaid, this book is essential. Lovely photographs and history on the ever handsome world of plaid. Delightful coffee table book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wildman on January 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Romancing the Plaid isn't just for the fashion minded or the Scot-o-philes. There is good research demonstrated in the meanings in the patterns and colors to the various Scottish clans and the authors use paintings of the historical period to illustrate their findings make this little covered topic more fascinating to the average reader. The book covers the origins and more recent uses of plaid tartan themes and its various impacts on modern fashion. The illustrations and photographs are of excellent quality and definitely should be purchased for more than the decorative coffee table accessory. Overall a genuinely good reading experience and a interesting subject.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By a Chelsea reader on February 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Banks and De La Chappelle have created a book that will appeal to those who love fashion as well as history in this gorgeously produced book. Banks is as talented a writer as he is a designer (which is to say, VERY talented) and the book itself is a work of art-- the amazingly beautiful photos, crisp, concise, compelling text, even the tartan bookmark make this a worthy purchase for fashion lovers, historians, or for those who simply want a smart piece of art on their coffee table.
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