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The Fashion Book Paperback – 20 Apr 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 520 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (20 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714841188
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714841182
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 2.5 x 16.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon 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 favourite 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 Cecil 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 bargain. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'A must for every self-respecting and dedicated follower of fashion.' (Sunday Telegraph Magazine)

'An AZ of everything you could wish to know about the past 140 years of fashion. Models, moguls, designers and photographers are profiled and cross-referenced in this indispensable survey.' (Harpers & Queen)

'It is probably the most comprehensive fashion encyclopaedia for general consumption available. A must-buy for the fashion obsessive.' (Independent on Saturday)

'A masterly encyclopaedia.' (Tatler)

'A feast of fashion and cheaper by far than a designer garment.' (The Big Issue)

'An excellent guide to fashion in all its diversity.' (Irish Times)

'At last, at last, at last our prayers have been answered. Phaidon have come up with every fashion lover's dream, The Fashion Book, both beautiful and faultless.' (What's On in London)

'The fashion bible.' (Vogue)

'The ultimate fashion reference book.' (Elle)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By James S. Burgess on 19 Feb 2010
Format: Hardcover
I first read the Hardcover version of this book in a local library, while I was waiting for appointments at a nearby barbershop.

So, now I own that same reference copy...

<hint : ebay is your best bet if you want the full size version - which you absolutely will do after you've browsed it once>

...I pull the book out when I am stumped for something fresh or exciting to draw.

The testimony to the quality of the entries' inside, lies in the fact that I have repeatedly found myself attempting to pick one single image to use as a starting point and ended up reading the text alongside the picture on 200-300 pages!

The combined fashion experience of the conrtibutors is immense and that is reflected in the way everything is treated with the same respect and detail - from ground breaking yet little-known 19th century fashionistas to the household designer names of the last thirty years, whose S/S & A/W collections are staples of the major runway shows.

I really don't recommend the miniature version though - go for the supersize hardback or rent this from the library and make sketches and notes regarding fashion figures that catch your eye.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Miss Cook. A on 19 May 2010
Format: Paperback
I bought this when I started college and it helped me a lot. I have the little paperback version which is easy to carry around in any sized bag.
This book has wonderful imagery in the form of photographs and illustrations which help to link the profiled person to their work and also it lists other relevant people to help you build up a better tree of influences.
Whether you just want to admire the beautiful images or delve more into history- this is a great introduction to the world of fashion.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By J. Volbeda on 8 July 2006
Format: Paperback
An amazing good Fashion book! A-Z of fashion icons, photographers, models, designers, etc. Everyone that is in the fashion world well known! I loved looking through the book as I didn't know every single person mentioned in it! It's a must buy if you are interested/in to fashion!
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Aug 2004
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 an unusual 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. I graded the book down one star for the compromises made here not working well in too many cases.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Annie Mck on 5 Jan 2009
Format: Paperback
This a fantastic little book to dip in and out of - it covers a huge range of fashion icons from models to designers to photographers to milliners to.. etc etc. There is one page for each fashion icon, with photos and information about their background and what they are most renowned for. It does not go into great detail, but is a great introduction to discover people, brands and facts you did not know. It's one of those books that every time I pick up I discover something new! A must for anyone interested in fashion.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sis Timberg on 23 Aug 2009
Format: Paperback
What I like about this book, that you can really carry it with you and read it. It's not one of these fancy books that will decorate your shelf. Full of information, comprehensive historical overview, but not so up-to-date!
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Nov 2000
Format: Hardcover
If you're as mad as i am about fashion, then you'll love this book! This book covers everything from the true British designers to world renowned Fashion Gods!! The photos are very classy, and the layout is very stylish !! In alphabetical order, the book is very easy to use. A definate must have for any Fashion Student.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ladymadcap on 29 Jan 2011
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book for a relative who is very interested in fashion. She was thrilled with it. On a personal it is worth noting that this is just over pocket book size and I found the print to be rather small.
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