Style City: How London Became a Fashion Capital

Overview

Style City tells the story of how fashion developed in Britain from the early 1970s, when designer fashion scarcely existed, to the present day, when London ranks alongside Paris, New York and Milan as a global fashion capital and has produced such outstanding designers as John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan and Stella McCartney. The book describes and shows - through 200 photographs and illustrations - the key players in the fashion industry during this time, and the influences that went to shape ...

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Overview

Style City tells the story of how fashion developed in Britain from the early 1970s, when designer fashion scarcely existed, to the present day, when London ranks alongside Paris, New York and Milan as a global fashion capital and has produced such outstanding designers as John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan and Stella McCartney. The book describes and shows - through 200 photographs and illustrations - the key players in the fashion industry during this time, and the influences that went to shape British fashion: the music, the clubs, the parties, the amazing dressing-up tradition; above all, the designers and their clothes.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
O'Byrne (After a Fashion: A History of the Irish Fashion Industry), former fashion correspondent for the Irish Times, informed by fashion promoter and consultant Annette Worsley-Taylor, breezily tells the story of how Britain transformed from a place with some disdain for the frivolous pursuit of fashion to a supportive epicenter of creative fashion designers, prolific art colleges, and a style informed by youth street culture. No longer the stepchild to the international fashion capitals Paris, Milan, and New York, London has evolved from the 1970s through the edgy punk days and the romantic influence of Princess Diana to the current city renown for both high style and street chic. O'Byrne interweaves details of fashion financials with firsthand accounts from designers like Vivienne Westwood and Jasper Conran. VERDICT The well-chosen photographs and punchy layout will appeal to students of fashion, but academic readers should also consider Catherine McDermott's Made in Britain or Christopher Breward's Fashioning London; this is more like a coffee-table book than an in-depth history.—Nancy B. Turner, Syracuse Univ. Lib., NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780711228955
  • Publisher: Lincoln, Frances Limited
  • Publication date: 10/1/2009
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 12.26 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction The Way Things Were 6

Punk Explosion & New Wave 26

The New Romantics 64

The Business of Fashion 98

A Time of Crisis 142

Cool Britannia 180

Postscript: The New Millennium 230

Bibliography 246

Picture credits 247

Index 248

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 21, 2009

    London's pathway to becoming a major international fashion center

    The English cultural historian O'Bryne (author of After a Fashion: A History of Fashion in Ireland) and London fashion promoter Worsley-Taylor (e. g., London Fashion Week, London Design Collections) follow how London rose to become a world-class fashion center starting in the mid 1970s and continues to maintain this position by a "superabundance of design originality." The story is told by highlighting particularly influential designers and events within phases of the pathway to the top; including the germinal factors, business sense and practices assimilated into the fashion world, and the crisis of the global recession in the latter 1980s which might have ended the developments. The many color photographs are instructive in supporting the author's account of the innovation and appeal of the London fashion industry. These photographs are accompanied by many others of leading designers and of celebrities such as Andy Warhol and Tina Turner who became interested in the developments and also took part in promotional events.

    The most important germinal factor was Britain's punk rock. "Widely reviled, punk nevertheless touched some kind of nerve with the general public." Along with the general sense of excitement and promise it sent through the popular culture, punk rock (and its cousin New Wave music) showed that artistic success was possible without the imprimatur of the traditional media and cultural critics. The clothing of these musicians as well as their hair styles and performance behavior also generated a social milieu and anticipations new fashion styles could flourish in. Punk rock's worldwide popularity while keeping its association with England set the stage for the development of the fashion industry along new avenues. And punk rock sent the message that England was moving out of its image of staidness and propriety exemplified by its reputation as a financial center into the constantly changing and commercially important field of popular culture.

    Familiar social phenomena especially from the media and entertainment fields and well-known celebrities are seen in new perspectives in being woven into the vibrant London fashion scene. The work is a pleasing combination of keen social history and art/coffee-table book.

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