In 1954 they were two young talents from the provinces, both dreaming of Paris, glamour and glory. Yves Saint Laurent was the charmed youth, the enfant terrible inheritor of Dior's couture crown. Karl Lagerfeld was the freelance designer with a talent for ready-to-wear. Seemingly from a background of wealth and privilege, he was in fact a tireless workaholic, driven by his passion for capturing the pose of the moment. Then 1968 happened and Paris exploded like a champagne bottle left in the sun. The city embraced liberation and hedonism, making up for years of post-war insecurity. It was a decade dominated by intrigue, infidelities and addiction - and parties. Each designer created his own mesmerising world, drawing towards them people attracted by their power, charisma and fame. Loulou de la Falaise, Paloma Picasso, Pierre Berge and Jacques de Bascher were all living in the mirror of fashion. The tensions of class and nationality, bohemia and luxury, youth and yearning, talent and ambition were subsumed in the creation of glamour. The two cliques could not help but become rivals. But as the 70s turned to the 80s, heroin and Aids cast their shadow; fashion became an industry, money prevailed and the beautiful people discovered the danger of living their dreams. The Beautiful Fall is Alicia Drake's brilliant chronicle of this dangerous, brazen, fabulous time.