As an avid book worm and fashion fan, my love for beautiful coffee table style books knows no bounds. From books about well known style icons, to tomes about fashion design and designers, I have managed to array a wonderful collection of books that delight with their images and inform with their text.
With all this in mind, you can see why I would be so excited about doing a book review for The Works. With literally thousands of books to choose from, I headed straight to the online fashion section and selected ‘The World’s Most Influential Fashion Designers’ by Noel Palomo-Lovinska. (Published by Barron’s, 2010.) The tagline on the book promised to show ‘hidden connections and lasting legacies of fashion’s iconic creators’, which sounded both interesting and informative.
The book is beautiful and glossy, this is a hardback version. The cover is a perfect illustration of how fashion from the past influences future styles, with a 1930s fashion illustration of a beaded black evening dress juxtaposed against a modern intepretation of the same thing. Once inside the book, the designers are consigned to different catagories which then make up chapters, from ‘Designers as Celebrities’ to ‘Futurists’ and ‘Artisans’ amongst many more. This makes it easy to use the book for reference – you can simply find the chapter on the designer you are interested in.
There are many things to love about this book, both if you choose to use it as a reference book, or if you simply want to read and enjoy it. Each designer is given at least a double page spread, with some, like Halston being given more space. On the page, you have useful chronology, showing you a designer in terms of their influences, and who, in turn, they influenced. This is really interesting, particularly in the case of the American designer of the 1940s and 50s, Claire McCardell, who today is little known outside fashion circles, and yet seems to have influenced just about EVERY big designer from the 1950s onwards.
There are also plenty of beautiful images on every page (I particularly love the ones for the page dedicated to Madame Fortuny). The photographs are mainly fashion ones, but there are also some celebrity shots to illustrate key designers like Adrian, who predominantly dressed film stars.
This is a really fantastic book for fashion lovers. Currently it is available at the works for just £9.99, with an additional 20% off applied at the checkout.