With so many fairly mediocre books on vintage fashion around, Kerry Taylor’s Vintage Fashion & Couture – From Poiret to McQueen (Mitchell Beazley, currently on Amazon for £13.96) finally gives an expert’s view of 20th century fashion designers.

In this lavishly illustrated book full of wonderful fashion photographs, Kerry – one of the world’s leading experts on vintage fashion, tells the story of a century of fashion through the work of its key design talents and the memorable women who have worn their creations. All the fashion stars are here from Poiret to McQueen via Lanvin, Chanel, Schiaparelli, Madame Grès, Dior, Balenciaga, Mary Quant, Ossie Clark, Vivienne Westwood, Alaïa, and Margiela. For each designer Kerry explores their career, highlighting key pieces and explaining what makes each item so desirable to own right  now – a fantastic resource if you buy vintage!

Each chapter also includes at least one ‘style icon’ whose relationship with fashion has had a lasting impact, including Baba D’Erlanger, Lauren Bacall, Grace Kelly, Catherine Deneuve, Paloma Picasso and Kate Moss.

What makes this book an absolute must-read is Kerry’s incredible expertise. It is refreshing to read a book that finally does away with long perpetuated fashion myths (‘Quant invented the mini skirt’ or ‘YSL pioneered the trouser suite for women’ – neither is true) and which conveys the huge enthusiasm and true admiration so many vintage lovers – like Kerry herself – have for past designs.

Without a doubt the best book on vintage out there!

schiaparelli

 

twiggy

westwood

 

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