Vogue has always been known as the ultimate fashion bible, and now it has further cemented this iconic status with a series of four short books on the ‘defining fashion designers’ of the last century. Penned by some of the publication’s most celebrated writers, and accompanied by images and illustrations from Vogue‘s inimitable archives, they make a must-have addition to any fashion devotee’s book shelves. We sat down to pour over each chic work individually.
Punctuated with beautiful contemporary images and photographs, Elsa Schiaparelli is the worthy subject of Judith Watt’s contribution to the Vogue On series. Referenced to this day, with Schiaparelli shocking-pink one of the key colours of the season, Elsa was known for her surrealist aesthetic. She defined fashion in the 1930s, collaborated with leading contemporary artists, and her ‘brinkmanship’ with Chanel still fascinates to this day. As Watt explores Schiaparelli’s life and times, her words are punctuated with fantastic quotes from the designer. Among our favourites is this: “In difficult times fashion is always outrageous”.
Vogue contributing editor Charlotte Sinclair focuses on Christian Dior for the Vogue On series, and many iconic images shot by Horst and Irving Penn accompany her words in telling the story of one of the world’s most historic and recognisable brands. It was the New Look of 1947 that ensured Dior’s name transcended the fashion world, and as with this collection, it was his stunning silhouettes that captured the imagination. From the early years of the brand to its ongoing legacy, Sinclair’s work is an essential investment for fans of the super chic French label.
What could be more iconic than the instantly recognisable double Cs? Author and former Vogue Features Editor Bronwyn Cosgrave takes a closer look at the woman Vogue declared, “the most influential female designer of the twentieth century”. The idea of relaxed, easy-to-wear
clothes for women didn’t exist before Coco Chanel, who pioneered beautifully made clothes with an effortless unfussy appeal. The LBD, the Chanel suit, the costume jewellery – it is all here. What’s not to love?
In his own words, Alexander McQueen “demolished the rules, but kept the tradition”. Chloe Fox focuses the Vogue spotlight on the irreplaceable British designer. From outsider, to enfant terrible, and celebrated visionary and genius, this work surveys Lee McQueen’s remarkable career – from the shocking to the romantic, the historic to the innovative.