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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dedicated Follower of Fashion
I'd never heard of Fashion Beast up until very recently. Not a massive surprise really, I was eleven years old when it was originally written. At first glance it doesn't sound like my sort of thing - a re-imagining of Beauty and the Beast set in the fashion industry, with direct input from pop svengali, Malcolm McLaren. That feels like a pretty weird mix to me. I'll...
Published 10 months ago by Pablo Cheesecake (The Eloquent...

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite so fashionable
Considering that this is set in the fashion industry, of a sort, this is distinctly unglamourous and, in fact, downright ugly thought that, I suppose is part of its intent. Set in a city which reminds me of the perpetual night-shrouded locale of the excellent film Dark City, this is a grim read. The art, while accomplished and effective, is not attractive to look at...
Published 8 months ago by Ian Williams


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite so fashionable, 17 Nov 2013
By 
Ian Williams "ianw" (Sunderland, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fashion Beast (Paperback)
Considering that this is set in the fashion industry, of a sort, this is distinctly unglamourous and, in fact, downright ugly thought that, I suppose is part of its intent. Set in a city which reminds me of the perpetual night-shrouded locale of the excellent film Dark City, this is a grim read. The art, while accomplished and effective, is not attractive to look at.

The story, being by Alan Moore, is of course effective, particularly with its motif of illusion and reality which is best exemplified in ambiguity of the sexual identity of two of the story's main characters. However, it's worth remembering that Moore wrote this as a film script and it has been adapted as a graphic novel by someone else -Antony Johnston- so the reader is not getting a graphic novel by Moore as one would normally consider it.

Ultimately it's a bleak depressing piece and one which I believe will come to be considered as one of Moore lesser works. Read it if you must but make sure any sharp objects you own are locked away.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dedicated Follower of Fashion, 16 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Fashion Beast (Paperback)
I'd never heard of Fashion Beast up until very recently. Not a massive surprise really, I was eleven years old when it was originally written. At first glance it doesn't sound like my sort of thing - a re-imagining of Beauty and the Beast set in the fashion industry, with direct input from pop svengali, Malcolm McLaren. That feels like a pretty weird mix to me. I'll happily admit that initially, I was a little dubious there would be anything that I'd enjoy. One look at me would have you asking the question "What does this feckless jabroni know about intricacies of haute couture?"* I persevered however, and as I suspected, Fashion Beast is about much more than the vagaries of the fashion industry.

I've long been a fan of Alan Moore's work. If you asked me, I'd probably rate V for Vendetta as one of my all-time favourite graphic novels. I remember the first time I read it. I was an angry young man back then, and even now years later, I still recall it left a distinct impression. That's the real genius of Moore's writing. Don't believe me? Try this little test. Read anything that he's written, doesn't matter what. When you begin everything appears relatively straightforward, but by story's end, you find yourself with more questions than answers. I suspect that this is always his intent. Moore wants his audience to question everything. He wants them to continually explore the ideas and theories he infuses his work with long after the final page has been read. Fashion Beast, like all his other masterworks, falls squarely into this category

Doll Seguin's journey from cloakroom attendant to internationally recognised style icon, is a direct counterpoint to the journey of the reclusive designer who "discovers" her. Jean Claude Celestine spends his existence hidden away in his exclusive salon. In many respects, he is the beast in this particular tale. All his time is spent designing beautiful clothing in an effort to escape the flaws and hideous ugliness he sees within himself. As Doll's star is in the ascendancy, Jean Claude's begins to wane, the fickle finger of public opinion working it's magic. The scenes featuring these two are probably the story's strongest. Doll and Jean Claude spark off of one another, and their often-opposing viewpoints lead to intense debate.

The artwork, by Facundo Percio, acts as a perfect partner to Moore's narrative. It's not uncommon in graphic novels for there to be panels, and in some cases whole pages, where there is no dialogue at all. The artwork has to be strong enough to compensate for this, the visuals have to be able to move the plot forward themselves. Percio's skillful illustrations manage this effortlessly. There is hardly a page goes by where the reader is not presented with an image that could be, at worst, described is visually striking. There are key scenes in the plot that have artwork that I would happily frame and hang on a wall just so I could look at them. When a story is all about the nature of image the artwork has to be perfect, and in this case it most definitely is.

There is a good chance that this graphic novel is not going to be for everyone. There are some very subtle fantastical elements, the pre-apocalyptic backdrop for example, but for the most part this storytelling doesn't rely on anything more overt than that. To be honest, I don't really think anything else is needed, it's the strong characterisation that drives this piece. Personally, I'm glad that I took the opportunity to read this. I'm thirty-nine years old and over the last couple of days, specifically down to this graphic novel, I find myself pondering the nature of my own self-image. It's been a hell of a long time since I've had a conversation like that with myself. I'm a firm believer that the best writing has a timeless quality, twenty-eight years after its initial release, Alan Moore's work can still provoke a reaction.

Moore has created a wonderful story that explores the superficiality of style and how we project it. Just how much importance does society place on how we look, and how much does that define what we do? Insightful, thought provoking, and as relevant now as it was when it was originally written. If you fancy trying something a little different, that is going to make you think, I suggest giving this a go.

*I can confirm what you may have already guessed. The answer to that question is precisely nothing.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!, 8 Nov 2013
By 
J. Westrupp "artlover" (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fashion Beast (Paperback)
I didn't quite know what to expect, but I quickly got into the story and ended up reading it almost all in one go. A great read, highly recommended.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Different ana a little weird, 16 Sep 2013
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fashion Beast (Paperback)
Alan Moore is a strange beast and to be honest you can never be sure what you're going to get when you open a book written by him, after all he loves to throw in twists, at times the macabre and at other times leave the reader thinking what the hell.

Here in this title, is a story that brings elements of Phantom of the Opera, a world on the brink of apocalypse giving the people the only break in the monotony of their lives with fashion. Its definitely quirky, its beautifully illustrated and having sat back and read it cover to cover, I'm not really sure what I was expected to take away from it other than Alan poking fun at the ridiculousness of the fashion world.

All in definitely something unique, something differing far from the norm and I suspect something that's going to be collectable more from the name attached than for what unfurls within.
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Fashion Beast
Fashion Beast by Malcolm McLaren (Paperback - 5 Sep 2013)
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