Monday, January 12, 2009

Fashion Babylon: book review

Well, one thing I did get to on my non-sewing weekend: some reading. I just finally got a new library card - mine got eaten years ago and I never got around to replacing it. Went to the library on Friday and came home with three books: The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry, a memoir about taking classes at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris; Dior by Dior, which I just started this morning, and Fashion Babylon, by Imogen Edwards-Jones, which was just what I needed when I was unable to actually sew - a large dose of wonderfully gossipy, trashy fashion writing.

It's non-fiction but written in novel form because the "Anonymous" co-authors did not want to be identified and were merged into a single up-and-coming London fashion designer. The book covers London Fashion week and the months that follow, leading up to the designer's first show at New York's fashion week.

Much gossip about designers and models that we've all heard of, lots of how-the-collection-is-put-together stuff, including the seamstresses on the top floor of the office becoming quieter and quieter as it comes closer to showtime and the designer keeps making changes. The author knows what she's talking about from a sewing standpoint; lots of technical details and nothing stood out as wrong.

One of my favorite bits: when the designer's intern comes to her and says that someone wants to do a photo shoot and include a certain white blouse that was seen in the last collection. The designer is thrilled, says okay, and then realizes . . . the white blouse was a filler piece picked up at a London department store. Oops. So they find the blouse in storage, they make a pattern from it and produce it in a better fabric and put their own label on it. Makes you wonder how often stuff like that happens.

The rough part for me was when the designer was working on her collection, looking at vintage clothes, pinning things up on her mood wall, her brain spinning with ideas. I wanted to go downstairs and hop on the machine so bad but I couldn't.



Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

The book sounds like a good trashy read!!! Glad you enjoyed it!

Gretchen the Household Deity said...

Oooooh, sounds like a great book. I hope DCPL has a copy (though their fashion collection is, um, a little lacking).

Little Hunting Creek said...

That will be a perfect book for my daughter's birthday. She was just saying she needed some fun books to read. thank you!