Sunday, 6 November 2011

Harper's Bazaar : Greatest Hits

Harper's Bazaar Greatest Hits
by Glenda Bailey
publish by Abrams books £39.99

Fashion books, how I love thee. Your glossy pages, witty anecdotes and plethora of model photos put me in to a visual coma, where no amount of shouting or waving can distract me from your pretty delights. Initial swooning over, but as you should all know, I am a HUGE collector of fashion books (particularly the ridiculously expensive, hardback variety) and Harper's Bazaar : Greatest Hits which I received a short while ago from Abrams  is no exception. 

Compiled by editor in chief of Harper's Bazaar, Glenda Bailey, the book celebrates her decade at the helm of the publication and all the creative people involved from 2001 to 2011. The foreword, written by Stephen Gan,  quotes her as saying 'Fashion reflects what's going on in our world and Bazaar makes pop culture fashionable.', which seems quite apt for the collage of images outlining the cover of the book, which mixes current icons of pop culture, actresses, pop stars and models with high end couture gowns, make up only fit for a fashion show and sets only fit for behind the lens. 
The huge book shows many familiar faces to the average magazine hoarder and fashion follower such as Karl Largerfeld, Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs, Valentino (my favourite and pictured with his gorgeous pugs!) and Ralph Lauren, to name a few, as well as containing extracts from the magazine itself, and text rounding up different styles and attitudes within a particular era.
I love that the book has given a special small section to the undeniably amazing Diana Vreeland, with words by Ali MacGraw about what it was like to be her assistant, that  the images are high quality and range from magazine covers to make up close ups, to wildly fantastical images of models like Naomi Campbell straddling an alligator, but most of all I like the sheer weight of the book. The weight of images you can keep as reference materials, chronicled easily into seperate years with applicable text and small details about who designed the clothes and photographed each and every photograph. 
This book is indespensible to anyone who follows fashion and you want it on your bookshelf. Trust me. 

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