New PictureThis week our Vintage Librarian Claire Pursglove is reviewing the couture coffee table book. With its amazing photographs and insiders knowledge, this is the number one book for anyone interested in Fifties couture.

The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947-1957 – Edited by Claire Wilcox
V&A Publishing, £24.99

If you missed the glorious 2007 V&A exhibition that this title accompanies, then fear not as this is the next best thing. A multi-faceted book, it covers all the key players of the time. These include designers such as Dior and Balenciaga, photographers (Richard Avedon – who I adore) and even glimpses into the fashion houses themselves during this magical period of fashion history.

As with all V&A books there are some exquisite photographs and illustrations, showing evening and day wear in original photo shoots and designs, as well as items given to the museum’s collection. There is a fascinating insight into the sociological and historical context of fashion during this time, which certainly gave me a broader picture of how the industry evolved.

The only downside to owning a bible such as this is that it certainly makes you think about your own wardrobe a little differently…I think mine needs a spring clean!

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