Looking ahead to Fall Books on #FashionHistory

In the world of publishing, it is a very busy time (hence my lack of posting anything for the last month). Publishing houses are busily confirming books to be released for the fall season, and to be presented to booksellers (and media) at Book Expo America at the end of May in New York (coincidentally and always timed for the same time as the Costume Society of America’s National Symposium).

So – I’ve been trolling the virtual shelves of new material to see what we’ll have in September and thought I’d share a ‘sneak peak’ of what is to come. With any luck, I’ll be reviewing a few of these in more depth once the books are out!

Most exciting of the fall books this year – for me anyway – is a new monograph of Jean Patou published in collaboration with the Patou estate. The main draw is the previously unpublished family archives, that include include rare examples of design, fashion sketches, fabric samples, and private photographs. Titled Jean Patou : A Fashionable Life and available September 24, 2013, the book is authored by  Emmanuelle Polle an author and historian who  curated an exhibition on Christian Bérard at the Musée d’art moderne Richard Anacréon in Granville, France, in 2011. 

The description reads:
An illustrated monograph of haute couture designer Jean Patou’s life and career during the apex of twentieth-century glamour, drawn from previously unpublished family archives. An illustrated monograph of haute couture designer Jean Patou’s life and career during the apex of twentieth-century glamour, drawn from previously unpublished family archives. During the 1920s and 1930s, the French couturier Jean Patou was Chanel’s main rival: day pajamas, jersey sportswear, swimwear, and the little black dress were all among the innovative designs marking Patou’s remarkable, albeit brief, career as the king of Parisian fashion. With his untimely death at 49, he had only fifteen years to make his mark on the history of couture, yet in that short time he amassed a colossal fortune, opened shops and studios in Paris, Deauville, Biarritz, and New York, and invented some of the world’s legendary fragrances, including Joy and Que Sais-Je. This book recounts the story of Patou’s charmed life and career during the most glamorous years of the twentieth century. For the first time, the heirs of the Patou family have agreed to share their extensive private archives, and author Emmanuelle Polle spent more than two years reviewing thousands of unpublished documents: photographs, diaries, client lists, and original, hand-colored sketches. Signed by major names in fashion photography (Baron de Meyer, Laure Albin Guillot, or the Seeberger brothers), the vintage photographs-presented alongside fashion designs, original fabric swatches, art deco furniture, perfume bottles, and garments photographed especially for this volume-retrace the universe of this extraordinary aesthete and speak of a certain minimalism. This book is an essential reference for anyone interested in the history of fashion and of the greatest years of Parisian style.”
An illustration included in Fashion at the Time of Gatsby (F.Scott Fitzgerald)

Of course there is lots of talk about “Gatsby” now, and the book trade can sometimes be slow to respond. Fashion in the time of the Great Gatsby will be out on September 24, 2013 by LaLonnie Lehman, a professor of Theatre at Texas Christian University at Fort Worth ( she is a member of the United States Institute for Technical Theatre and the Costume Society of America). The book’s official description reads:

The post-WWI world saw cultural, political and technology explosions that lead the way to fashion becoming a highly personal and social statement. The Roaring ’20s, exemplified by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary classic The Great Gatsby, ushered in a new era of liberation in dress for style, comfort, movement, expression, and attraction. This book chronicles the story of this milestone era in fashion history and spans the entire wardrobe for men and women, including day and evening wear, accessories and brand new categories such as “casual clothes” and “fads” like smoking jackets, tiaras, and cigarette holders. Written by a noted academic in fashion history and a costume designer herself, it is beautifully illustrated with period photographs and fashion sketches that are highly evocative of the period and the stylish world of The Great Gatsby.”

These two titles are the most exciting to my mind, but there were some other fall books that grabbed my attention:

More to come on these and other titles as they are released!

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