Alicia Kennedy
Emily Banis Stoehrer
With Jay Calderin
Rockport Publishers, Beverly, MA, 2013, English
Nonfiction, Fashion Design
Hardcover, 416 pages
ISBN: 9781592536771
Suggested Retail Price: $41.25

From the Publisher. Fashion Design, Referenced is a comprehensive guide through the art and industry of fashion design, richly illustrated with over 1,000 photographs and drawings. Within the framework of four central categories, Fashion Design, Referenced examines the many interwoven elements that form the tapestry of fashion. “Fundamentals” provides an overview of the essential structure of the fashion profession (its organization, specializations, and centers) and looks at shifts in style over time and in ever-faster cycles going forward. “Principles” introduces the steps in creating a collection, from design to production, and explores directions suggested by sustainability and technology. “Dissemination” charts the many avenues by which fashion reaches its audience, whether on the catwalk or in the store, in print or online, in the museum or on the street. “Practice” gathers and appraises the work of the most influential and innovative fashion designers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. From its first question—What is fashion design?—to its last—What does the future hold?—Fashion Design, Referenced chronicles the scope of ideas, inspirations, and expressions that define fashion culture.

On 1 book list
Norman Weinstein

No general book on fashion design in recent years has so successfully reorganized how to think about the field as Fashion Design, Referenced. It has accomplished this goal through reformulating lively features of website design and infusing electrifying graphics with erudite cross-disciplinary commentary. As Alicia Kennedy writes in her astute foreword, “Our book approaches fashion design from the perspective of connectivity. It unfolds how fashion is imagined, produced, and disseminated within larger social, economic, and cultural systems.”

Through over a 1,000 well-reproduced photographs and drawings, and through scores of judiciously and passionately written brief articles—Wiki or blog length—readers are encouraged through the book’s mandala-like organization to imaginatively follow rich trails of cross-disciplinary association in a non-linear fashion. That said, it is just as pleasurable to read the book conventionally from opening page to last, enjoying a sprawling multi-dimensional text on fashion design, moving from an overview of the profession, to a primer on how bare-bone ideas materialize into finished products, to avenues through which fashion reaches its audience, and finally as a critical examination of innovative practices of the major movers and shakers of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Particularly striking are the many parallels established between architectural and fashion design, as well as the ties between pop music and fashion trends. This is that rare fashion overview that even designers outside of fashion can find constantly inspirational.

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