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The Fashion Book Hardcover – January 10, 1998

4.4 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

James Abbe, a 1920s fashion photographer, and Zoran, the designer whose simple, monochromatic clothes were extremely popular in the 1970s, anchor the 500 entries in this massive encyclopedia of fashion. Each designer, photographer, model, or icon gets a page with a large photo and informative but short caption. This has the wonderful effect of weighting each entry equally, thereby devoting the same amount of space to Charles Revson, creator of the Revlon cosmetics empire and relative makeup newcomer François Nars, pioneering clothing designer Mariano Fortuny and contemporary favorite Tom Ford.

Clearly, a good set of eyes edited this book. It's a tall order to choose just one image to define the many facets of a designer, model, or photographer. The choices made here are excellent and often surprising. The indomitable Coco Chanel demonstrates the ease of movement her designs afforded women by briskly swinging her arm out to one side, while Kate Moss is shown at the height of her waifdom, likely the mode in which she will best be remembered. Model Linda Evangelista is pictured with curly locks of hair. It's obvious, too, that the editors employed the haphazard juxtaposition created by the alphabetical organization. Facing entries, no matter how seemingly incongruous, are united by a visual theme, to spectacular effect. The ovals made by the either screaming or yawning mouths of Kurt Cobain and his infant daughter are mirrored in a 1937 Jean Cocteau illustration of an Elsa Schiaparelli design. A model in a 1930s outfit by John-Frederics faces a portrait of post-punk design queen Betsey Johnson, whose floral outfit echoes the flowery silhouette behind the model. A troika of Robert Lee Morris bracelets matches the arcs of a bombed-out London building in a 1941 Beaton photo of a Digby Morton design. The vibrant prints of Emilio Pucci and Lilly Pulitzer fall together naturally.

The reams of fabulous images and the inventive design alone make The Fashion Book a treat at any cost, but the low price-to-size ratio (like its cousins The Art Book and The Photography Book) makes it a real steal.

From Library Journal

This highly illustrated coffee-table book celebrates 20th-century fashion in style. It is a virtual cavalcade of the most successful names in the fashion industry and highlights a host of designers, models, illustrators, photographers, milliners, tailors, cosmetics and makeup artists, hairdressers, publishers and editors, and fashion icons, including Armani, Avedon, Cartier, Ferragamo, Gucci, Twiggy, Vreeland, and James Dean, to name a few. Alphabetical entries cite contributions to the industry. The biographical information is kept to a bare minimum, and there is no traditional subject index linking similar entries together, although this is partly accomplished by guides at the end of each entry. The book concludes with a glossary of movements, genres, and technical terms, as well as a directory of museums and galleries. This lightweight treatment is reluctantly recommended as a popular culture item.?Stephen Allan Patrick, East Tennessee State Univ. Lib., Johnson City
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press; First Edition edition (January 10, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071483808X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714838083
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 1.8 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is without a doubt the best fashion book ever written. Not only are designers in this book, but also fashion illustrators, editors, and icons. The work and time put into this book must have been unbelievable, and to charge such a low price. The book is definately worth the price, and much much more. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in fashion, at any level.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the Reader's Digest Condensed version of the history of fashion over the last 150 years. Unlike Reader's Digest, this book succeeds in capturing the essence in amazing kernals of elegance, curve, design, and motion. Everyone who loves fashion should have this book. There is simply no substitute for it, and you will have many hours of pleasure looking at its exciting images and reading the descriptions. The book is a great value for its price, as well, which will help make it available to more people.
The book is in a novel format, one page each for 500 icons, models, fashion and accessory designers, make-up artists, hairdressers, retailers, illustrators, and photographers done in alphabetical order. Each page typically has one person (a few have two), with one image, and one brief textual summary of the person's work.
It is an amazing challenge to capture all of a person's work in one image, and some great successes occurred. Some of my favorites were Madonna, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Harry Winston, Naomi Campbell, Coco Chanel, Noel Coward, and Rudi Gernreich.
On the other hand, some of the old black and white images did not reproduce well. Some of the worst examples are Antoine (a hairdresser with a photograph of Josephine Baker's hair), Maria-Louise Bruyere (a designer), Christian Dior, Max Factor, Barbara Goalen (a model), Gucci, and Hermes. In many cases, these choices appear to have been influenced by the desire to have the facing pages converse with one another. So you will see echoes of design, line, and style in these ways. I appreciate that effort (which is often quite eloquent), but it should not slight the individual whose work is being portrayed.
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Format: Hardcover
a fabulous book!brilliantly done from the past to the present,reconmended to all that love fashion. the pictures are clear and creative. well proportioned to each designer, little description yet just enough, if you like getting books with tons of great imagages this the book you want.*
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Format: Paperback
This book was suggested reference material for a college course of study at FIDM. Initially I thought this was a paperback condensed version of the hardback book. Upon receipt I found it extremely difficult to read without a magnifying glass - the print is literally micro-small. At first I blamed my aging eyes, but my nineteen year-old daughter whom I purchased the book for has 20/20 vision, and she expressed a similar opinion. I would not recommend this version of the book - if you have the option, purchase the full size hard bound copy.
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Format: Hardcover
A great reference for those interested in people who have made major contributions in fashion. This is a beautiful A-Z guide with over 400 entries that includes fashion designers, photographers, models, retailers, illustrators and icons. Even though there is not a lot of text it provides you with just enough written information that you want to find out more if it does not already quench your curiosity.
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By A Customer on June 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
A brilliant, spectacular, visually-entertaining compendium of the who's who in fashion, The Fashion Book has not failed my high expectations. Note the well-researched facts and pictures (which many fashion books are guilty of printing inexcusably inaccurate facts)that make it the perfect reference book. I particularly like how images documented capture the quintessential essence of the work of those highlighted, not necessarily those we have come to know through much-publicised ads and editorials. Kudos to Phaidon and the editorial team.
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Format: Hardcover
512 thick, glossy pages of fashion. Each page highlights a different person... Designers, models, icons, photographers, illustrators, milliners, cosmetic creators, tailors, etc. Each page has a brief paragraph or two describing the artists contributions, and below is a single large picture or illustration depicting the work of the artist. One of the more stunning fashion books I've seen. Quite impressive.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book itself is fabulous. I love reading through it and all my guests love looking through the pictures when they're over. (I have it on my coffee table in my living room). However, I was a bit sad, and disappointed when the book arrived with the front and side cover paper ripped and some what stained. I did order this book used, because that was the only buying option available. But each description said the book was "good" or "acceptable". I guess, since I obviously haven't returned it that it is "acceptable" but I was looking forward to the book still being more presentable. I was also a little bummed that there was a price sticker stuck to the side of the book, right over the word "fashion" and since I obviously didn't want that to be exposed I was forced to as gently as possible, peal that sticker off which caused the paper to write a little.. Besides that.. I am happy with the book! But I would not buy this as a gift for someone.
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