Originally published at Schön! Magazine
TASCHEN unites 40 years of Annie Leibovitz’s work in a collector’s book that’s sumo-sized and brimming with icons from every era. With such depth of work, Annie has spent years developing her extensive collection of photographs, each one intimate and iconic in its own right. From comedians to journalists, work from Rolling Stone circa 1970, to portraiture for the likes of Vanity Fair and Vogue – Leibovitz is indisputably a master of her genre.
For a project that’s no small feat, everything about this read is bold and impressive: from the leather bound hardcover to a custom-made tripod stand, designed by Marc Newson, that accompanies every book. Annie’s work confidently dwarfs what you ever thought you would get from a book of photographs. With character and a timeless air to every image, this exciting read gives you the best of 40 years, packaged in a way that’s unmistakably Leibovitz.
Revolutionising womenswear with le smoking, elevating streetwear and making couture accessible, Yves Saint Laurent has become a name associated with style, sophistication and high fashion. His futuristic collections never failed to stir controversy, making him one of the most influential couturiers ever.
As Saint Laurent dressed the world, there was Roxanne Lowit to photograph it. From 1978, the year the New York-based “fashion’s historian” (in the words of Karl Lagerfeld) first ventured backstage at an YSL show in Paris to the last show he gave in 2002, she captured the behind-the-scenes dynamism at his shows. Recently she compelled a collection of dazzling images together with contributions from his muses and admirers, intimately recreating the backstage experience at Saint Laurent’s shows.
“I like to amuse myself,” used to say flamboyant couturière Elsa Schiaparelli, “If I didn’t, I would die.”
Italian-born designer Schiap, as she was known, was an innovative fashion star from 1927 until she closed her atelier in Paris in 1954. Her style was a social revolution —luxurious, eccentric, ironic, sexy, from the whimsical to the most practical. Chanel, her rival, called her, “that Italian woman who makes dresses”, but Schiaparelli collaborated with some of the greatest artists of the twentieth century during her meteoric rise to couture queen of the 1930s, grossing millions of francs a year. Her Parisian boutique opened into a cage, Vogue presented her collection as Works of Art in 1927 and, a decade later, she was the first European to win the Neiman Marcus Fashion Award. She favoured bold colours, padded shoulders and surrealism-influenced motifs. Creating the wraparound dresses, built-in bras, and visible zippers, she also was the first designer to use rayon and latex, thick velvets, transparent and waterproof, and cellophane.
Secrest traces the large and extravagant life of the woman whose artistic vision redefined the boundaries of fashion and art. The book talks about her upbringing in Rome, interviews and writings, public records and Schiaparelli’s own 1954 memoir, Shocking Life. The result paints a vivid, sympathetic, humorous, and realistic portrait of the the creative mind and fashion force Elsa Schiaparelli was until the end.
A new release has become the first monograph to celebrate the life and work of Loulou de la Falaise, the style icon and muse to Yves Saint Laurent who became the embodiment of French chic. Born in 1948 to an English mother and a French father, Loulou’s chic style, powerful spirit and ability to transform anything into something made her an influential fashion icon and a breath of fresh air to the world of Parisian haute couture.
”I’m not a very strict person,” she once declared. “I’m more of an extravagant type of person. I’ll keep on mixing because it’s more inspiring. I think fashion goes through phases. I just wait for them to be over.
Celebrated for inspiring and accessorizing Yves Saint Laurent’s collections, she moved to Paris in 1972 to work with the designer. For almost forty years, she built her professional reputation designing jewelry and accessories both for Yves Saint Laurent as well as for her own line.
Slim, beautiful and artistic, she almost looked like a fashion sketch. She loved parties and cigarettes, but so did everyone else in Paris back then. Fun-loving and popular on the Paris social scene, Loulou was a glamorous figure with perfect proportions, seductive voice and bohemian flare. Oscar de la Renta said he always felt reassured when de la Falaise would declare, “I love that.” And although she loved socializing, she was almost always surrounded by Yves, her husband Thadée Klossowski de Rola and their daughter, Anna.
Loulou’s appetite for fashion and beauty continues to inspire today. This volume is her life in over 400 pictures captured by legendary photographers, alongside conversations with her intimates.