Friends who work in fashion are always the hardest to buy gifts for. They are discerning, decisive, and difficult to please, which always makes for a difficult shopping experience. A coffee table book is a trouble-free gift that is easy to buy, yet tailor-made for the recipient. This season, Harrods Publishing (yes, that Harrods) has joined forces with Rankin to create a fashion book that is sure to captivate even the most seasoned fashion aficionado.
Couture in the 21st Century delves into what couture means today by interviewing the masters of contemporary fashion and outlining their personal relationships with the art form. The first person text allows the designers to explore couture, and the idea of fashion itself, through personal references and calculated thought. The book also looks into the archives of the world-renowned fashion houses like Dior and Chanel, tracking their successes and paths into the world of modern-day couture. The philosophical idea of high fashion, beyond the traditional high sewing definition, is examined and interpreted by those whose work captivates us today.
Portraits shot by renowned photographer Rankin accompany the interview and attempt to capture the nuances of each designer. The subjects, who range from Giorgio Armani and Oscar de la Renta (below) to Erdem and Jason Wu (bottom), discuss what couture means to them in a society where fashion is neomania and couture is often misappropriated.