The New French Couture: Icons of Paris Fashion

9780062215994: The New French Couture: Icons of Paris Fashion

With more than 175 color high-fashion photographs, this stunning, comprehensive, and authoritative handbook on modern French couture, covering the finest Parisian houses of couture—including Chanel, Dior, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, Lanvin, and more—and the creative directors who are redefining their legacies for the twenty-first century.

While trends emerge from New York, London, and Tokyo, the fashion capital of the world remains the City of Light. From Coco Chanel to Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Dior to Raf Simons, Hubert de Givenchy to Riccardo Tisci, the evolutionary arc of French fashion and its most revered houses grows richer with each season and with a continuous infusion of imaginative new talent.

The New French Couture identifies the fashion leaders whose longstanding ateliers have endured, and the creative pioneers who continue to reinvent and reinterpret their signature iconography, including Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, Raf Simons at Christian Dior, Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy, Alber Elbaz at Lanvin, Alexander Wang at Balenciaga, and Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent. Though haute couture remains the exclusive domain of a few houses, the Parisian fashion panorama is rife with gifted luxury establishments who specialize in hand-craftsmanship, exquisite design, precious materials, impeccable production, and a celebrity clientele.

The New French Couture provides a dazzling tour through the advertising, editorial, runway, and behind-the-scenes lives of these exclusive ateliers, revealing the evolution of each brand, their definitive looks, and fashion “moments.” Here, too, are profiles of those who have made Paris their home, reimagining contemporary French luxury more independently of the fashion conglomerates, such as Hussein Chalayan, Jean Paul Gaultier, Azzedine Alaïa, and Phoebe Philo for Céline.

Breathtaking in scope and vision, beautiful, sophisticated, and informative, The New French Couture provides a comprehensive glimpse at the breadth of the Paris’s impressive and abiding fashion authority.

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“Delving into the history and exploring the icons of Paris’s major historic houses, The New French Couture offers a smart, visually enticing view of contemporary French fashion.” (Stefano Tonchi, edior in chief, W Magazine)

About the Author:

Elyssa Dimant is a fashion historian and expert in contemporary fashion studies. She serves as an adjunct professor at Parsons School of Design and the Cooper-Hewitt Masters Program in the Decorative Arts in New York, and has lectured at museums, universities, and private venues worldwide. Formerly a curatorial research associate at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she co-curated the 2004 exhibition "WILD: Fashion Untamed" and coauthored the accompanying catalog. The author of Style Mentors: Women Who Define the Art of Dressing Today and Minimalism and Fashion: Reduction in the Postmodern Era, The New French Couture is Dimant's fifth book. She has also contributed to numerous fashion publications, including The Spaces and Places of Fashion, The Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion, Vogue, and Elle Canada. Dimant has been featured as a fashion authority in the New York Times, W, WWD, i-D, and Numero, among others.

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