Reviewed: The Ten By Lauren Cochrane

Fashion. The trends come and go and are often seen as belonging to the young, the trendy or edgy. From ra-ra to puffball skirts, to citrus colours, pie crust collars and boho chic, there are so many trends that have come and gone, often leaving a raft of embarrassing photographs behind. But whilst trends are transient, true style, in the form of the classics, remains. In a new book, Lauren Cochrane, senior fashion writer at The Guardian, tackles those style classics, aka ‘The Ten’, showing their history, the way we have wore them, and how relevant they are to fashion today and going forward.

The Ten are, in no particular order, the white t-shirt, miniskirt, hoodie, jeans, ballet flats, Breton top, Biker Jacket, Little black dress, stiletto and the trench. Most are worn by women, some are unisex, none are worn by men alone, showing that fashion is still the general preserve of the female sex. There are some omissions – no crisp white shirt, cigarette pants or Raybans for instance, all of which would have an argument for inclusion, but the list is generally comprehensive, and is supported and illustrated with articles that talk of its history, interviews with key protagonists (i.e the story of the mini has an interview with Barbara Hulanicki of Biba fame) and photographs which show the ‘then and now’ nature of classic pieces, how, from the 20th century and beyond, these pieces have stood the test of time and always look fresh and relevent.

This is a beautiful and comprehensive book that looks as stylish as the pieces it talks about. It has a hardback cover without a dust jacket, and would certainly make a stylish addition to the coffee table or book shelf. It combines interesting examples of trends, from Vogue Covers to pop culture references like Twiggy, Prince, Debbie Harry and Marlon Brando, all with beautiful black and white and colour photographs.

This is a book you can dip into in order to read about a specific trend, or is one you can enjoy pouring over in one sitting, reading from cover to cover. It is a must for those who follow fashion, and those who set their own style rules.

The Ten: The Stories Behind The Fashion Classics by Lauren Cochrane has been published by Welbeck and can be found at Amazon by clicking here.

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