Saturday, February 20, 2010

Founding Your Fashion Library

By Laura Medina

Ever pondered about teaching yourself about fashion history for your next collection?

Empty of ideas? Tired of nagging the local library about rare fashion books about designers that librarian doesn't know or care about?

Premiere publishing house, Assouline, is releasing two coffeetable books that go way beyond eye candy but provide meaty history and references for any designer.

"Pierre Cardin: 60 Years of Innovation" by Jean-Pascal Hesse, who holds a degree in history, has been director of communications at the Cardin fashion house for close to 15 years, profiles the geometric motifs, asymmetry, oversized buttons and collars, hooped dresses, vinyl inserts—Cardin is an original in every sense of the word.

ASSOULINE is delighted to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the Masion Cardin, with the publication of a commemorative retrospective of the work of its founder, fashion designer Pierre Cardin.

Born in 1922 in San Biagio di Callalta, near Venice, Pierre Cardin immigrated to Paris in 1924. After working briefly with Elsa Schiaparelli, Cardin joined Dior in 1946 and opened his own couture house in 1950. He was a pioneer from the start, creating a design-based, architectural fashion with a futurist sensibility. Cardin also had an avant-garde understanding of fashion’s relationship to new audiences, presenting his collections to large crowds. He was the first to demonstrate that fashion can be both a creative process and a business—and that one man can excel as both a businessman and an artist.

This volume is a tribute to this extraordinarily innovative and iconoclastic designer, taking a primarily visual perspective, highlighting Pierre Cardin’s contributions to the world of couture, fashion, and perfume, reflecting his spirit and energy as well as the brand’s international presence.

For those die-hard Alligator fans in Charleston, SC, bemoaning the loss of Lacoste sponsoring the city's Family Cup.

Y'all will always have Rene Lacoste in your house or foyer or living room, thanks to Olivier Margot, sports journalist and editor and tennis historian.

It's not about the history of the Lacoste but a style and lifestyle guide in how to be really "preppy" or living the "country club life." Most significantly, how spiffy causal sportswear came about, from the man who started it all, from court to street.

This is a book about savoir vivre and savoir faire, about how to live (in Lacoste) and how to be. It is a catalogue that has never been more deserving of the name, a catalogue raisonné in which everything is modestly and elegantly on display.

This book illuminates the contemporary relevance of the legacy of René Lacoste, who, in his glory days at the end of the Roaring Twenties, was the best tennis player in the world. A conqueror, an innovator, a designer, he always displayed a certain flair. And those qualities endure. A story about fluidity, softness, comfort, the sun and the sea, endurance. A story about what Christophe Lemaire calls a “democratic luxuriousness,” perhaps a luxuriousness of detail. A story about a sensation, a light, a color, a texture, a pattern, the freedom of a body in motion and at rest. A story about the Club collection, the Sport collection, the women’s collections; about windowpane check, contrast piping, stretch knit polo shirts: “a world of design with a human dimension.”

This book is the story (or one story) of a culture that gives voice to many personal stories—the story of a transgenerational and transcultural cult brand; of a laughing crocodile beloved by children; of a breath, an emotion, a moment to be savored; of well-being; of vitality. The story of everything we’ve done and of everything we have yet to do, all thanks to a single pensée, a single thought, that inspires expression in every form.

With Pierre Cardin at one end of the fashion spectrum and Lacoste at the other, these will make a great foundation for any fashionista.

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