- Hardcover: 79 pages
- Publisher: Assouline Publishing (April 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 2843236770
- ISBN-13: 978-2843236778
- Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.4 x 0.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #876,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Fred Astaire Style Hardcover – April 1, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
Astaire was also an elegant dresser and that is what this very short book is all about. The essay explains Astaire's very special elegance and how he worked terribly hard to make things look very easy. It's nice, but at 15 pages or so, doesn't cover a whole lot of new ground. The pictures - many of them from Astaire's Hollywood days - are, of course, quite beautiful, but for all their charm - there's something missing.
"Fred Astaire Style" begins with a brief essay tracing the subject's biography and career, with an emphasis, as you'd expect, on his distinctive approach to style. Boyer also places Astaire's dress sense within a larger historical context of America's rejection of European style cues, the influence of the Depression, and the rise of a casual approach to men's style ("the small-shouldered, soft-chested, international sartorial look that's worn today"). After this comes many pages of great photos of Astaire young and old, in a wide assortment of dress, sporting, and casual clothes. I would have preferred that the captions accompanied each photo, instead of being banished to a few pages at the back of the book, but that's not a major complaint.
More than that, I wished this book was longer. While Boyer has done an excellent job assembling photos and providing a general overview, I'd point the reader to, for example, several books by Alan Flusser that break down Fred Astaire's style in more detail. Nevertheless, this book is both a respectful look back and a useful guide today. Fred Astaire still has a lot to offer as a modern icon. Here's to more people paying attention.
Many photos shoe the various stitches and styles for the man who is looking for ideas on what makes a great wardrobe.
Very pleased, thank you.
The first part of the book gives a brief overview of the effect Astaire had both on filmed dancing and on men's fashion, while the second part is given over to photos of Astaire, from his twenties into his eighties. Some of these photos are not readily available in other books.
In his dancing, Fred Astaire managed to combine formal styles such as ballet and ballroom with the fresher rhythms of tap and jazz. Boyer postulates that he did the same with his dress sense. The actor whose name became synonymous with the image of top hat, white tie and tails was the foremost proponent of soft, button-down shirts, casual yet stylish tweed jackets and loose, easy-fitting trousers. The phrase "smart casual" could have been invented specifically for Fred Astaire. Here was a man whose outward appearance seemed both carefree and comfortable, yet which was actually very carefully considered - what Boyer describes as: "a spontaneous exuberance in which the hard work was well hidden within the detail and the subtlety". And as Boyer says, the same was true of Astaire's dancing.Read more ›
By no means an exhaustive biography on Fred Astaire, but a great afternoon read and a visit to a time long since gone.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have loved Mr. Astaire since childhood. This book is a look at his incredible style in his private life. The book came right away in perfect shape. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Essentially just a picture book with some comments, great photos, worth it if you are a fanPublished 12 months ago by Christopher Foley
small book but some great pictures..don't spend too much on it not because its bad but simply because there are less than 100 pages..i enjoyed it.. Read morePublished 19 months ago by joe rosello
This is a slender but essential volume on the mystique of Fred Astaire. This is a well-researched volume that taps into an important 19th and 20th century cultural current. Read morePublished on July 24, 2010 by Robert Moore
This book has a very limited scope. It's main essay aside from photos in only 17 pages long. It focuses upon Fred from the point of view of men's fashion. Read morePublished on April 5, 2009 by R. Bono
Fred Astaire has a stlye of his own and the book covered his style very well. Enjoy the book.Published on May 13, 2007 by Ruth Ann Huckaby