Top positive review
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on 27 November 2013
"Youthquake" was a term coined by Diana Vreeland, editor-in-chief of US Vogue to describe the seismic shift that was to take place as the youth market became the dominant force in determining the direction of the fashion industry during the sixties.
Jonathan Walford's book provides an almost season-by-season narrative of the huge changes that were to come about as the decade unfolded; the move away from couture and the rise of boutique fashion - cheap, affordable style, influenced by ethnic/Pop culture and driven by new production markets, fabrics and an affluent, assertive young consumer-base. Although the development of various styles and trends are the main topic, Walford takes the time to set fashion within the wider cultural context of art, music, film and social change; there is an emphasis on developments in London and the USA, and women's fashion dominates (men's styles get one brief chapter of their own) but that is to be expected given the period.
The book contains 306 illustrations with 176 in colour; a nice selection of contemporary fashion photos, design sketches, trade advertising and mannequin displays. I would have liked a little more correlation between text and the examples presented, but on the whole the overview works well.
This is a well-presented and fairly inclusive study of the subject; a cut above what could easily be seen as another coffee-table book. A good and informative general historical survey of a watershed decade for fashion.