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The Beautiful Fall: Fashion, Genius, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris Paperback – September 6, 2007
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Drake's writing style is fluid, with her prose as rich and elegant as the world she depicts. Turning the pages of the book, one can see, taste and feel the luxe accoutrements that are the lot of fashion royalty: the sumptuous residences, the sit-down dinners for a hundred, the plush privelige of a chauffered limousine. Yet Drake also opens a door to the down side of fashion--the wounded egos as entourage members are cut loose, the heinous drug hangovers after all night parties at Le Palace, or the letdown of a fashion season fallen flat, when an anticipated collection is panned or ignored.
Class, too, is an overriding theme. The weight of the aristocracy is evoked, with its crushing confines of hierarchy and tradition.Read more ›
The book was meticulously researched and filled with marvellous anecdotes and characters, including Antonio Lopez, Paloma Picasso, and Loulou de la Falaise, to name just a few.
Especially interesting was the inimitable Pierre Berge, the business brain behind Yves Saint Laurent.
I originally found out about this book in a newspaper article about the court case in France over its contents. Karl Lagerfeld sued the author, but in my opinion, it was Yves Saint Laurent whose image was tarnished. Saint Laurent was portrayed as a self-centred, immature man who became increasingly reclusive with time. Lagerfeld, on the other hand, was portrayed as a survivor thanks to his own creativity, hard work and business acumen.
Instead, they cultivated, all their lives, alternative ways of being perceived as nothing less than innovative and influential, which then became for a time still resonating today, the dominant cultural style of much of the fashion world.
Alicia Drake traces the fate of the gifted and glamorous generations of the Paris in the 1970's through the lives of two of its central figures, Yves Saint-Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld, and their members and accomplices, most of whom attained considerable importance in the shape and character of Paris life, such as Pierre Bergé, Betty Catroux, Loulou de la Falaise, Jacques de Bascher, Kenzo, Pat Cleveland, Antonio, Paloma Picasso, Anna Piaggi, among others.
Their story takes us from Germany, Morocco and Paris from the thirties to today, through the revolutions of the sixties, the arrival of new money, the dinner parties and balls, the impossible intake of drugs and alcohol, the disco area and the AIDS epidemic, into allusive womanhood, the opulence and decay of beauty, the importance of living the day, in glamour, as if it were the last.
The volume includes an enormous amount of first personal accounts and quotations and a good selection of photographs, many from private sources, of the fascinating personalities whose lives and careers Alicia Drake has woven into a provocative, richly textured social and intellectual history of fashion.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found 'The Beautiful Fall' (focused on Yves St Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld) after having read the wonderfully written and engrossing 'Gods and Kings', (focused on Alexander... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Marie L
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book- so much so, I found it hard to put down. SO MUCH fascinating information on subjects ranging from Fashion Design trends at that time and the... Read morePublished 23 days ago by kate Hawkns
A great account of Paris in the 1970s. Great gossip as well as a great history of fashion at such a pivotal time.Published 1 month ago by MC
I found this book interesting, but not as pleasing as Mademoiselle Chanel. However, if one is interested in the fashion world, this will be a good read. Read morePublished 2 months ago by EMMS
A must read for every fashion fan. The Beautiful Fall is easily one of the best fashion biographies out there that puts you in a time machine, as you go back in time to witness... Read morePublished 4 months ago by The Travel Bug
Fascinating. A captivating narrative, and extremely well researched. Not to miss!Published 9 months ago by Jason Chadwell