Monday, 30 January 2012

Book Review: Fashion Now 2

„Taschen had be interested in art but found that art books were too expensive”
This quote out of the book’s blurb I want to introduce to you totally reminding of my personal opinion (miser!^^). At least since the Euro is our currency in Germany book prices are much too high. You can bet that you will find at least one book on my Christmas wish list. And also the books of publishing houses as Taschen still fail to find the way on my book shelf on a daily basis because even they are not affordable enough for a poor student like I am.
But the other day a new “art-book” was added to my book family (which is quite big, flea markets for the win). By accident I discovered that Taschen had published a series to celebrate it’s 25th anniversary. I’m probably not telling total news to you, as this took part in 2010, but still, I am not often in the shop they have in Cologne. Three times in my life).
So when I had time and stumbled over “Fashion Now 2” I was kinda surprised to find something like this for just 10 Euros.

Long story, but to start the actual review:
“Fashion Now 2” features 160 fashion designers, which were selected by the magazine “i-D”. Every designer is introduced on at least two pages, where the readers can find a short information in three languages and an interview with the designer him- or herself. To mention a few names: Chanel, Comme des Garcons, Jil Sander, Nike, Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood are well-known names.

A typical information text

Of course this is not a book for someone who does fashion-wise 100 % his thing without looking left and right and without caring for a designer brand. A year ago I would have hated a book like this, but right now I love reading through it, because even by knowing I will never get myself that far too spend 2000 Euro on a dress, knowing about the designers ideas and the philosophy behind brands catches my interest pretty fast. I did not read through it completely, because it is laying next to my bed where I look into it before I fall asleep.
The texts are always written in German, English and French, so this book is readable on an international basis. Taschen chose a really small font, so even though you have three times the text all the essential information can be found in it. In addition to that there are pictures of their collections, mainly taken in 2008. One could now say that this book would make no sense in 2012, because it is sooo yesterday. But seriously, a lot of high fashion designers have a kind of signature style, and also a 2008 –collection can teach you that.


I was kind of hesitant at first because of the title, implying that there is another part, because normally I do not buy the second book of a series, but the lady at the counter told me that the book can be seen as individual, anyway, "Fashion Now (1)" is sold out for a few years now.
There are actually two things I didn’t like about the book. Firstly, there are ads in it, probably the way how Taschen sponsors its publications, but still an irritating view in a book you paid money for.
Secondly and the main point of criticism: There was already a version of the book before the anniversary one was brought up and due to the fact that the latter was shrinked-wrapped (strange word), I looked into the original (about 25 Euro). The last few sides were filled with insider shopping tips for all the big fashion cities. But when I opened my cheap version of “Fashion Now 2” I had to discover that they left it out. Maybe they did it because they were not recent anymore, but more likely is the theory that they wanted to save costs without someone who just knows one version noticing it.

To put it in a nutshell a great book for everyone who enjoys fashion and art-books, thanks to the price even a good birthday present for poor persons who are still attending school.

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