Taschen, 2012 ($29.99)
Bring together undernourished supermodels, overzealous designers and a publisher with too much change in their pockets, and the result looks something like Fashion Now.
There are a few choice phrases I could use to describe this book: scary, unsettling and capable of inducing an epileptic fit all immediately spring to mind.
If – like me – you do not have an appetite for fashion, and feel perfectly comfortable wearing mismatched socks or white after Labour Day, then this is perhaps not the best book for you.
If, however, you worship at the altar of Anna Wintour and agree that not only are shoulder pads retro and therefore fashionable, but also should test the theories of gravity and geometry, then congratulations, Fashion Now contains 160 different fashion Da Vincis for you to bow down at the hem of.
The 160 designers are pictured with some of their more unique creations, accompanied by an inspirational quote, summary of their achievements and a description of what inspires their work. This is all translated into French and German, though I was surprised there was no Italian verion when Milan is considered one of the fashion capitals of the world.
Some of the high-end names include Tom Ford, Vivian Westwood and Calvin Klein. Unfortunately, there is no Karen Walker or Trelise Cooper in sight, which I think may be more of a compliment than a criticism.
Some of the better maxims include this from Hugo Boss designer Bruno Pieters: "The idea of creating something new out of nothing every season drives me."
Donatella Versace also makes an appearance, and for once she looks sober. "I am always driven to push forward, searching for what is modern. That is what motivates me."
Giorgio Armani, who is never one to keep things in perspective, says: "I have realised over time that I have to take responsibility for my actions and beliefs."
From a fashionista's point of view this fashion scrapbook, or in Elle Macpherson's view, fashion bible, makes Lady Gaga's outfits look a tad bland in comparison. I won't be recommending it to my book club anytime soon, but Fashion Now will make for a perfectly adequate coffee table book.
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