* Must be read in ABFab Eddy voice, dahhhling!
Well, I TOTALLY score at the town library today – one of the books I have been COVETING but had no $$ to buy (since I spent up big on patterns and had to renew my domain hosting – life’s tough, innit?)
Christian Lacroix On Fashion (ISBN-13: 978-0500513910) is a book to LUST after if you have even the tiniest interest in fashion and the history of dress. After several introductory essays, we get down to the business at hand, as described by CL himself:
“This is not a retrospective, but my own look at the costume collections of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, from which I chose pieces from all eras, some never before exhibited. I chose those that were most inspiring, those that best told the story of fashion that I would have wanted to tell if I were the museum curator that I intended to be when I was a student.”
And of course being a Thames and Hudson book, everything about it is superb. (long time readers of my blog have probably already picked up on my obsession with books that are well constructed and well designed. I find it really difficult to read badly designed and poorly made books, ugh.)
The photography is brilliant, with the garmetns showcased amongst ( what I assume must be) the warehouse of the museum. Of course, I would have loved more detail shots, but we can’t have everything (and there is always the wonderful Fashion In Detail series – I only own the 17th and 18th Century one, but I would love to own the 19th C, Around the World, and Modern Fashion all from the V & A Museum ).
I know that this is a book I will want to go back to over and over again- every page is inspiring – the details, the colours, the cut! And the photos are arranged in sensible categories such as “”Flowers”, “Back to Front” and “Cobwebs”. Part of the joy of this book is looking at a double spread of clothes then flicking to the catalogue details, only to find that an outfit that looked like one era is in fact from another period entirely. The first photos in any category showcase some of Lacroix’s (how does one add the possessive there? that doesn’t look quite right) own designs – which emphasizes his mastery of historical material and genius for re-invention.
The last section of the book features computer generated sketches (apparently now his favourite way of working) for both his history of fashion and the Fall-Winter 2007-8 haute couture collection. I had never seen these drawings before – and yet they are in the loose flowing “ink and colour” style of several of my favourite illustrators (Ralph Steadman, Ronald Searle, Gerald Scarfe immediately come to mind)
I’m off to watch Grand Designs (it was a beautifully transformed church in Ireland – sigh!); then I think my notebooks and I will be spending a few happy hours with this book.