Never one to toe the fashion-establishment line, Geoffrey Beene has always been in a class by himself. For more than 30 years, Beene has pursued his own uncompromising breed of modernism, creating clothes that streamline the female form. This bright, witty biography brings a new level of understanding and meaning to Beene's life and career. 120 photos, 70 in color.
"Clothes should look as if a woman were born into them. It is a form of possession, this belonging to one another." This statement sums up the design philosophy of one of this country's most innovative couturiers. For more than 30 years, Beene, a one-time medical student from Louisiana and an eight-time winner of the prestigious Coty Award, has revolutionized feminine fashion, liberating women from the "conventional mechanics of dress" by removing paddings and interlinings, zippers and fasteners from his lighter-than-air jumpsuits and gowns. He has also turned the traditional fashion show upside down, abandoning runways and star models in favor of art installations and dancers whose leaps and grand jetes display the luxurious freedom of movement his clothes allow. This beautiful volume, lavishly illustrated with 120 photos by the world's great fashion photographers, is not a chronological retrospective of Beene's work (although his structured 1960s dresses are presented) but rather an aesthetic appreciation of his artistry. Following an introduction by Richard Martin and Harold Koda, curators of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, fashion journalist Cullerton examines Beene's unique qualities?his geometric designs, his bold use of color, his juxtaposition of luxurious fabrics with the humble (satin with gingham). For academic and larger public library fashion collections.?Wilda Williams, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This very oversize book is both a biography of clothes designer Beene and a photo-essay on his work. Although the text is witty and informative, it is the pictures, more than 120 of them, in color and black and white, that really capture and hold the reader's attention. And why not? Beene's glorious clothes, with their emphasis on shining colors and breath-catching shapes, are this eight-time Coty award winner's legacy. Larger libraries will want this beautiful volume, as will any library with a concentration on fashion or the arts. Ilene Cooper
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