The time when “fashion” was defined by French designers whose clothes could be afforded only by elite has ended. Now designers take their cues from mainstream consumers and creativity is channeled more into mass-marketing clothes than into designing them. Indeed, one need look no further than the Gap to see proof of this. In The End of Fashion, Wall Street Journal, reporter Teri Agins astutely explores this seminal change, laying bare all aspects of the fashion industry from manufacturing, retailing, anmd licensing to image making and financing. Here as well are fascinating insider vignettes that show Donna Karan fighting with financiers,the rivalry between Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger, and the commitment to haute conture that sent Isaac Mizrahi’s business spiraling.
More than an autobiography, this neat little tome offers a step-by-step look at the entire haute couture process, from the first quiet sketch, to the packed showing in the grand salon, to the competitive client fittings.
The Washington Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion critic offers a fascinating portrait of the American fashion industry in the ’60s and ’70s, a time when ready-to-wear was upsetting the long reign of couture, and when American designers finally emerged from the back rooms of the Garment District, put their own names on the labels and joined the ranks of high society.
Alexander McQueen and John Galliano rocked the fashion establishment in the 1990s, going on to head two of Paris fashion’s most important houses — Givenchy (McQueen) and Dior (Galliano) — before encountering tragedy in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Full of salacious details, it is nevertheless an important document of the fashion of the ’90s and early ‘aughts.
Once luxury was available only to the rarefied and aristocratic world of old money and royalty. It offered a history of tradition, superior quality, and a pampered buying experience. Today, however, luxury is simply a product packaged and sold by multibillion-dollar global corporations focused on growth, visibility, brand awareness, advertising, and, above all, profits. Award-winning journalist Dana Thomas digs deep into the dark side of the luxury industry to uncover all the secrets that Prada, Gucci, and Burberry don?t want us to know. Deluxe is an uncompromising look behind the glossy façade that will enthrall anyone interested in fashion, finance, or culture.
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