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The Beautiful Fall: Fashion, Genius and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris Hardcover – 18 Sep 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; 1st Edition edition (18 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780747570370
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747570370
  • ASIN: 074757037X
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 24 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


`...This fascinating read... reveals the fashion industry's
constant flux between in and out, right and wrong...'
-- Glamour, 1 October 2006

`Gripping account of the rivalry between Yves Saint Laurent and
Karl Lagerfeld in Seventies Paris.' -- Independent on Sunday, 24 September 2006

`Men wore make-up, students rioted... Drake looks at how the Paris
fashion world was...the centre of newfound gay confidence.' -- Gay Times, 1 October 2006

`TBF has been researched with the vigour of an academic tome but
there's plenty in it for the casual reader.' -- Gay Times, 1 October 2006

`The book is thoroughly entertaining, unpicking the fashion scene
in Paris in the 1970s... this is an important social history.' -- Independent on Sunday, 24 September 2006


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.

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14 customer reviews

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13 May 2016
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21 January 2014
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