One of the most frustrating things I'm finding about so-called "fashion" books like this is that more often than not, the authors tend to either be clearly out of their depths (in other words, don't really have intimate familiarity with the subject), or confuse "fashion overview" for "a who's who of all the cool people, events, and objects that defined the era."
"Fifty Fashion Looks that Changed the 1960's" is one of these books. What do you think about when you read that title, Fifty Fashion Looks that Changed the 1960's? You think, "It's going to list specific trendsetting outfits, ensembles, accessories, or hairstyles that wound up changing how people dressed in the '60s." For example, Jackie O and her "Camelot" look. The mini skirt. Tie dye.
Instead of doing that, the author of this book pretty much loosely interprets the title in such a way where she's not so much listing "looks", but just popular people, movies, events and models from the 1960s. Diana Vreeland may have been influential on 1960s fashion, but she herself was not a "fashion look"-- she was a person. Richard Avedon, Jean Shrimpton, Twiggy, Verushka, and David Bailey were, once again, not "looks", but people. Psychedelia was not a "fashion look"; it was an artistic trend that influenced the '60s but wasn't a look in itself. André Courrèges was not a "look", nor Yves Saint Laurent or Mary Quant. They were people who created "looks", but they weren't "looks."
Some of the other stuff that the author includes as "looks" couldn't be more bizarre. She lists Christine Keeler (the girl at the center of the Profumo Affair) and Truman Capote's black and white ball as a "look." Clearly, this was thrown in as filler.
Even when the author kinda sorta gets it right, the worst photos are chosen to illustrate what she's talking about, or she herself doesn't really explain what it was about that particular look that "changed" the '60s. The entry on Emilio Pucci not only doesn't talk about his influence on 1960s fashion, the photo couldn't be a poorer example of his work. The entry on Cleopatra just rambles on about how expensive the movie was, but doesn't talk about how the eye makeup in that film influenced 1960s fashion.
Ditto the entry on Breakfast at Tiffany's. It talks about Audrey Hepburn's iconic black dress, but the photo that was used is from a completely different movie, with her in a pink dress, not the famous gown, hat, and glasses from the movie. And the picture of Twiggy? Even though it's her, a photograph was chosen of her in which she's virtually unrecognizable.
But let's get to the worst problem about this book. Besides loosely interpreting the title to mean "pop cultural stuff that happened in the '60s", it's very clear that the author doesn't really know much about '60s fashion, period. When someone fails to mention the Nehru jacket (this was huge), the Beatles mop top, tie dye, Diana Rigg's catsuit, go go boots and so many other fashion trends that were such an unmistakable part of that era, then you know that person doesn't have a clue about that decade.
Is "Fifty Fashion Looks that Changed the 1960's" a bad book in itself? Well, as a cute, little coffee table book on 1960s pop culture, it's fine. But in no way, shape, or form would I consider it the definitive, informative book about 1960s fashion by someone who either was there or knows a lot about it. She clearly wasn't and doesn't.