As you might have noticed, the last few weeks here at FashionHistoria have focused on book reviews. In October I began to receive a steady-stream of packages with glorious, lovely, over sized, and decadent fashion history books. I slowly, but methodically, began sharing their insides with you, starting back in October with Katherine Hepburn’s Costumes: A Book and An Exhibition. Each week in November, there was a new topic and a new book to explore:
- Kaffe Fassett: Dreaming in Colour (An Autobiography)
- “A to Z of Style” by Amy de la Haye
- Lee Alexander McQueen: Love Looks Not With The Eyes
- W: The First 40 Years
Just this last week I shared what might have been my favorite of all of them: Knitting: Fashion, Industry, Craft by Sandy Black. Today, I have the last book to share for the holiday season.
Available as of November 15, Vernier: Fashion, Femininity, and Form by Robert Muir and Becky Conekin (Hirmer Publishers) offers a highly illustrated documentation of Eugene ‘Gene’ Vernier, a photographer at British Vogue from 1954-1967. Beautiful, evocative photographs of 1950s British high fashion are included in this volume, with equally stunning essays by Robin Muir, Becky Conekin and Alistair Layzell.
Admittedly, I had not heard of Vernier (blame it on my American bias), but his covers and interior photography for Vogue in the 1950s and 1960s are absolutely stunning, and deserve the attention that this publication brings. For a quick over-view (and sneak-peek at the images included in the book), BBC News has a great video interview with Vernier from May of last year. More images can be found in this Flickr set.
Allstair Layzell’s essay, “Eugene Vernier: A life” uses the uniquely modern invention of the QR code to link still images to nine clips of film online, allowing readers to see some of Vernier’s early film work for Pathe (he was a camera man). (I’ve included one below) It’s a unique feature of Vernier: Fashion, Femininity, and Form, and one that I’ve not seen implemented in a book before.
Around Britain: 1947 (Click Image to go to watch the video)