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Fab Gear: The Beatles and Fashion
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 28 October 2011
With probably nearing a thousand books on the Beatles, to me it has always appeared criminally negligent that no one has ever seriously evaluated the Fab Four's extraordinary fashion sense and style. When you think about it, secondary to their music the group were renowned for their adventurous and revolutionary dress sense, a quality that put them at the forefront of popular culture in the 20th Century. However, to date no one has ever properly evaluated this enormously important component in the Beatles' history.

Thankfully, Paolo Hewitt has gloriously redressed the imbalance with his magnificent new book, Fab Gear. Tastefully designed and peppered with hundreds of photos (many unseen), the book benefits greatly from an imaginative approach that never once underestimates its subject matter. Hewitt's text gives a fresh insight into what drove the Beatles' fashion sense through the whirlwind of Beatlemania and the subsequent fads that briefly occupied the group's wardrobe.

Personally, the greatest revelation in the book concerns the the Beatles' hairstyles. What started off as a joke within media circles soon became a trend that revolutionised hairstyles globally - a style that has maintained its prominence for nearly 50 years. Hewitt scores a major coup here with assistance from the group's hairdresser - Leslie Cavendish - who provides some candid tales concerning cutting the Fab Four's precious locks. While many of us have drooled over the pictures from the group's most creative era, it is a revelation to hear directly from the man who styled their hair during that magical period.

All in all a hugely recommended read and an important benchmark in serious Beatles' research.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Like many people, I have read and seen most Beatles books. However this new book on what the group did to the fashion industry, is an important and overlooked part of their history.

Paolo Hewitt is to be commended on his extensive research and relevant interviews with people who saw first hand, how the group morphed from those lovable mop tops, into adult men with minds of their own.

First, a bit about the actual book. It's a great size, 30cm x 30cm, which allows it to do justice to the pics inside, many of which are clear and catch the boys in a relaxed mood. I like how it has no dust cover, and Prestel is a well known publishing company, who produce quality.

As for the content, 5 chapters covering everything from the early days, like how the Hanburg Exi look influenced them, right thru to their reasons for growing facial hair and how those famous hairstyles came to be. The final chapter looks in depth at what really was, a natural progression for the group, opening their own boutique. It has some great sketches that were produced for clothing sold in the Apple store, as well as great photos of the site and its interior.

One of the things I really liked about the book, was not only its focus on the Beatles, but how fashion influenced the '60s. It covers off the change in the mood of the UK thru that 10 years, with photo's and interviews about the look that people were wearing. It's also interesting to see how the Beatles fashion and style still influences groups today, and shows that not only did they change fashion in that decade, but that fashion changed them.

I like books on the group that focus on specific areas. This book was much overdue, and is a perfect companion to "Beatles Gear" by Andy Babiuk, which focused on the instruments they used, and the equipment they had to produce their iconic sound.

I highly recommend this book to all Beatle lovers, and people who have an interest in fashion and the '60's.
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on 16 December 2011
After decades of failed attempts by hundreds of authors, it's taken the passion, imagination & skill of author Paolo Hewitt to successfully offer what lifelong Beatle fans like myself have up to this point in time thought impossible: a fresh new angle on the most written about band in pop history. Buy two.
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on 20 December 2013
Great book, very good qualiety, lovely glossy pages with great photos. Must have for every beatles fan.made a great present.
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on 14 February 2015
Beatles and fashion - heaven
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The title of the book is based on a media misunderstanding of then current Liverpool slang.
"Fab" and "Gear" are synonyms for something that's great. When asked about a record you might say "it's gear" or "it's the gear"
The opposite of "gear/fab" was "last", as in "their new record was last"
The London based media took "gear" to mean "clothing" and so the oft quoted, but incorrect phrase, which is used here as the book title.
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