vrijdag 29 november 2013

American Fashion - Charlie Scheips

By Gail Cooke (TX, USA) - See all my reviews

What a lush, lovely, can't help-looking-at volume! If you like fashion, you'll find something to oooh and ahhh over on all 318 pages of this coffee table gem, an opulent history of fashion in America.

We begin with 1930s Hollywood and New York at a time when there was much to celebrate - the end of Prohibition. Nylon stockings were first introduced, and Eleanor Roosevelt, who supported the fashions of the times, was First Lady.

Moving ahead to the 1940s our country is at war, and Rosie the Riveter is the iconic image of American womanhood, while 1946 Paris saw the first modern style bikini. The 1950s were a showcase of opposite modes from Audrey Hepburn with her model figure and dancer's grace to the eye-popping Marilyn Monroe, both influenced what women wore.

TV's Charlie's Angels set the standard for glamour in 1976, and Diane Keaton gave us Annie Hall complete with trousers, tie, and vest. Donna Karan introduced her first women's collection in 1985; about the same time that one more bombshell made a sometimes outrageous fashion statement of her own - Madonna, of course.

Enriched with some 250 illustrations American Fashion reminds us of the truly glamorous and the unparalleled debonair - a young Katharine Hepburn in a black Hawes gown posed for Harper's Bazaar, the unforgettable Marlene Dietrich smolders in a black velvet coat embroidered with white. And, of course, even now Fred Astaire remains the epitome of the well-dressed American man.

This volume celebrates the work of over 100 American designers with photographs and illustrations by the finest artists of our century. Our country is a proud melange of colors and ideas as is our fashion.


Beautiful book but not quite what I expected, November 8, 2007
By Alison Comey - See all my reviews

This is a beautiful book, with stunning pictures and the text no doubt forms an authoritative picture of the evolution of American fashion from the 30's to the present. I was disappointed, however, that there weren't more "nostalgia" pictures, for lack of a better term. Everything was so artistic that there weren't the pictures of, say, Cybill Shepard in classic 60's mod taken from Glamour, that I would have liked to see and that would have made things more accessible. This is more a book for fashion professionals or students than the casual reader which still makes it an excellent buy and great book, but just not for me.

A Must for a the Fashion-Obsessed!, December 26, 2007
By Miss E "WF" (San Juan, Puerto Rico) - See all my reviews

If fashion is your addiction, meet your quick fix. This book is beautiful, accessible and comprehensive. For all students, followers, trend-setters of fashion design and style, it would make a wonderful addition to your library.
It must be stated that the book is more a look into American fashion designers, from the end of the 1920's to 2007, than American fashion itself. After all, the book is published by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The best way to analogize how this fact affects the book is to compare it to a history of American Cinema, published by the American Academy Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscar-awarding organization.) This absolutely colors, biases and focuses the approach the book follows into what is by definition a vast subject. Throughout, it places the designer as the determining and dictating factor of style within the culture. Whether it makes a good argument for this is up to you to decide... Nevertheless, I am of the opinion that this helps keep the book focused, yet detailed.
The photography included in the book is exquisite and sharp. Especially true of the mid-century photography, it far exceeds the quality of that available in vintage fashion magazines.
Whether you are a novice/hobbyist or an established member of the industry, this is a delightful, insightful and thorough look at the subject. Even if its true title should be "American Fashion Designers: An Illustrated History."


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