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Discussion in 'Designers and Collections' started by ignitioned32, Dec 25, 2003.
PARIS: For fashion, 2003 was the year of the icon, and especially the departure of emblematic figures - from the loss of the elegant American C.Z. Guest to the quiet retirement of Calvin Klein.
So it is not surprising that the fashion books destined for a coffee table near your Christmas tree are visual records of the perennially stylish. They offer a panoply of images that are sometimes nostalgic but often just an affirmation of enduring style. After so much focus on designers in the 20th century and the deification of celebrity over the past decade, people tend to be at the heart of current fashion publications.
It was a stroke of genius for John Loring, author of "Tiffany in Fashion" (Harold N. Abrams), to ask his friend and mentor Eleanor Lambert to write an essay to introduce the book. Through her often-lampooned but historically fascinating best-dressed list, Lambert was the keeper of the flame of elegance in a punk-and-grunge world. Her death this year at age 100 turned a page in fashion history.
As she says in her preface, the art of fashion photography was born only three years after Chanel's "little black dress." She explains how the photographer Edward Steichen persuaded Tiffany's "to lend assorted armloads of diamond, ruby, emerald and sapphire bracelets" for photo spreads in Vogue in 1933.
Loring, the design director of Tiffany's, subtitled his book "A Study of American Fashion and Fashion Photography, 1933-2003," and those 70 years are brought vividly to life in his excellent choice of images. Inevitably, the graphic, black-and-white photographs by Horst P. Horst or Steichen - precise poems in light and shadow - create the strongest pictures, often reeking of Hollywood and the silver screen universe. In fact, these early pictures are a roll call of iconic names in the photographic world.
But an essay by the American designer James Galanos brings fashion into perspective. He points out that American photography was strongly influenced by Hollywood, not least Josef von Sternberg's images of Marlene Dietrich.
The vision of Guest, in white beach shorts in front of an azure pool and a pillared temple by the sea, makes the cover of "Slim Aarons: Once Upon a Time" (Harry N. Abrams), a selection of images from society paradise by the American photographer who with his camera invented "the beautiful people."
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Sorry I wanted to put another text in connection with your text but I do not remember any more where it is !!