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August 1 2014

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Ushering in a New Era of The Fashion Book

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The Fashion Book

Fifteen years ago, Phaidon published The Fashion Book. As its title suggests, the book quickly became the definitive resource for the fashion curious and industry mainstay alike—an A-to-Z guide to the field’s central influencers, with pages devoted to everyone from Vivienne Westwood and Helmut Newton to Oscar Wilde. Last night at Topshop in Soho, Phaidon celebrated the release of an updated version of The Fashion Book. The tome features seventy-two fresh entries (Style.com among them), and boasts pages devoted to individuals such as Nicolas Ghesquière, Tilda Swinton, and others.

The fete’s main event was a panel discussion moderated by Parsons the New School for Design’s dean, Simon Collins. It included Vera Wang, Iris Apfel, and our very own Dirk Standen. The group focused on what it means to be iconic (“Being an icon implies a very distinct point of view, which is rather rare today,” said Apfel), the figures who inspire them (“It’s people who never really sold out, someone like Peter Saville,” said Standen), and, in reference to Rick Owens’ recent statement-making show, what it means for an icon to change and evolve. On that topic, Wang offered, “Mr. Lagerfeld said to me once, ‘Vera, if you really can’t change and you can’t go with the times and you can’t realize how the world is becoming a different place, then it’s time for you to leave.’ So it’s somewhere between that fine line of adapting every decade and sticking to what you believe in and furthering your craft.” It was an honest and up-front dialogue about the connotations of holding influence in the industry today—a fitting prelude to The Fashion Book of the millennial era.

The Fashion Book New Edition, $59.95, will be available from Phaidon beginning October 14.

Photo: Courtesy of Phaidon Press

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Dept. of Culture