Below is an excerpt from the opening of the book, of how it all began, back in 1923. The book then takes you through the Supermodels of the 90's. As the titled suggests, it's not all pretty; a lot of dirt in this book.
John Robert Powers was a dark, handsome man but a lousy actor, as he was the first to admit. So around 1915 he took a job as a bit player and wardrobe boy with impresario Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, the Shakespearean actor, in his touring theater troupe. Powers’s acting skills eventually won him a job as assistant business manager. When Tree closed his company, the scarcity of parts for a man with no talent became a problem.
Then, one day, a man approached Powers about posing for a photograph with silent screen star Mary Pickford. Powers showed up at the appointed time and place three days in a row. Pickford never appeared. But Powers, $30 richer, had experienced nothing less than an epiphany. He found another commercial photographer who needed a model. Although he had a long, sharp nose, thick eyebrows, and thin lips, it didn’t seem to matter.
It was the Damon Runyon era, when urban fables embellished their way from the Great White Way into history. So almost every account of the birth of the John Robert Powers agency differs from the last, sharing only hyperbole and an apocryphal quality. But a sketch emerges nonetheless of how Powers invented the modeling business. By the most likely account, in about 1921, Powers showed up for a job with a photographer named Baron Adolphe de Meyer. The baron worked for fashion magazines and clothing manufacturers. He asked Powers to round up seven more men to work in an ensemble. “I got them for him and then he kept asking me to get him some more,” Powers said. The job was easy because “most of my friends, like myself, were actors, and again like myself, they were what is laughingly known as ‘resting.’”
These were the days when two-reel silent films were produced in a small circuit of studios stretching from South Brooklyn to Fort Lee, New Jersey. Out-of-work thespians would loiter in front of the Palace Theater in Fort Lee, hoping for work. Powers knew them all, and soon his pockets were overflowing with their phone numbers. Photographers began calling him instead of advertising for models. “I seemed to be able to get in touch with people more readily than anyone else,” Powers said. “Bit by bit I seemed to be assuming the proportions of an extra’s clearing house. But this was all unconscious. I didn’t have the business sense to see the possibilities.” Finally, though, “a great light smote me in the face. If I was becoming so useful, why couldn’t I become useful to myself?"
Powers credited Alice Hathaway Burton, his wide-eyed Kewpie doll blond wife, with hatching the idea of a model agency. “There must be lots of commercial photographers looking for models,” she told him. “And we know dozens of actors and actresses out of work. Why can’t we find a way of bringing them together?”
So Powers “had their pictures taken, made up a catalogue containing their descriptions and measurements, and sent it to anyone in New York who might be a prospective client—commercial photographers, advertisers, department stores, artists,” he recalled. “There were not more than 40 people listed in that first catalogue,” which was published in 1923, “but the idea was a new one. While I had started with the idea of supplying a demand, I began to realize that I was creating one.”
A lucky break with real estate helped, too. “John lived in an old brownstone over a speakeasy just off Broadway then,” a friend of his remembered. “That was the humble beginning of the modeling industry."
“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only,” Coco Chanel once said. “Fashion is in the sky, in the street. Fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” This is the concept Bérénice Vila Baudry is going for with her new book, French Style. Out this April, the tome examines its subject from all angles. “I love fashion,” Baudry, a professor at Columbia University, told Style.com. “But fashion is the obvious thing to talk about when you think of French style. I didn’t want the book to be just about that.”
You can see inside images and pre-order the $65 book at Assouline. They describe the book as:
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité … Le Canard Enchaîné … manifs … J’accuse! … Académie Française … Pétanque … Oh là là … Yé-Yé … From Abbé Pierre and Brigitte Bardot to Yves Saint Laurent and Zidane, French history abounds with artists and intellectuals, music and screen legends, thinkers and inventors, et bien sûr, chic. French Style exports the country’s best—innovations from universal human rights to the bikini, philosophical and literary luminaries from the Enlightenment to Existentialism, gastronomic delights and Nouvelle Vague cinema. With dynamic photographs juxtaposing concepts from haute couture and scientific advancements to pop stars and popular culture, French Style is as sophisticated as the nation it celebrates. This lavishly illustrated, fun and informal yet surprisingly informative compendium brings to life the savoir faire and joie de vivre that is French Style.
The French believe that they made Cristóbal Balenciaga’s career, but his biographer Mary Blume doesn’t buy it.
“He was 41 when he came to France, and he was already extremely successful,” says Blume,
“He was such a perfectionist,” she says of Balenciaga. “He was always ripping up sleeves. He was so incredibly watchful — he would be upset if he saw a woman in a restaurant in a Balenciaga with a button missing or the collar wrong.”
Now comes an online venture, Henry, which films serious writers like Sam Lipsyte, Ben Marcus and Christine Schutt reading three-minute snippets from their work. “Our aim is to provide access to literary readings for people who don’t live in proximity to KGB Bar or the small places in Brooklyn where readings are usually held,” said Katherine Bernard, a writer for Vogue and the Paris Review Daily, who founded the site with her boyfriend, Shayne Barr, a Columbia M.F.A. writing graduate, and Jerone Hsu, the founder of the think tank Prime Produce.
Australian industrial designer Marc Newson's Taschen NY event, for his book 'Marc Newson: Works'. Apple's Jony Ive (far left) must think highly of him to make the time, and one who can afford the $1000 price tag ($6000 for leather version). More images.
Diego Uchitel has long revered the Polaroid for its dreamlike color and depth, and over the course of his 25-year career, he has continually sought to conjure these qualities in his fashion and celebrity photography. Uchitel used polaroid film from 1982 to 2006, until the digital camera became an unavoidable replacement. this volume is his loving homage to the medium that helped define his style—a selection of his favorite images, both commercial and personal, of models, fashion designers and celebrities such as Jessica Alba, Gabriel Byrne, Sofia Coppola, Diane von Furstenberg, Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, Jack McCollough, Julianne Moore and Sting, as well as landscape photographs. Polaroids is awash with the tonal warmth and artifact feel of polaroid film, from its splendid design to the photographs themselves, which are reproduced in their original (and current) condition, with traces of tape and little signs of wear and tear around their edges. the book is bound in linen with a tip-on image. Diego Uchitel grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where as a boy he often photographed his physician father’s patients.
He moved to Los Angeles just after high school to pursue a career in film and enrolled at UCLA Film School, but soon realized that photography was closer to his heart. Uchitel’s photographs have been featured in Elle, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, German and Spanish Vogue, Vogue Hommes, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, D, Surface, Premiere, Citizen K and Rolling Stone. His advertising clients include Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Victoria’s Secret, Diane von Furstenberg, Anthropologie, Graff, Avon, Neiman Marcus, Olay, Warner Brothers, Nike, Levi’s and Microsoft.
Classic workwear, sports, and military apparel. Curated by connoisseurs of vintage clothing, The Vintage Showroom is a vast collection of rare 20th-century pieces that fashion designers and stylists pay to view, using the cut and detailing of individual garments as inspiration for their own work. Offering one-of-a-kind access, Vintage Menswear now makes this unique resource available in book form. Providing over 300 lavishly illustrated pages of rare, must-see designs, Vintage Menswear is the essential choice of 20th-century vintage tailoring and detailing and an inspirational resource for students and menswear fashion designers and stylists.
The first monograph on the luxury house Bottega Veneta, renowned for its superb craftsmanship and understated, no-logo elegance. Bottega Veneta’s illustrious history reaches back to a time when the brand was known primarily for its soft, handcrafted leather handbags. Today, the house is renowned not only for its coveted leather goods but also for a remarkable range of luxury products. Now, as then, the brand stands for the discreet sophistication and refined individuality captured in its famous line, "When your own initials are enough." This beautifully designed and slipcased monograph, the first book to explore the world of Bottega Veneta, is the rich result of a collaborative effort between creative director Tomas Maier, designer Sam Shahid, and many of today’s leading lights of fashion journalism. With luxury craftsmanship at its core, Bottega Veneta is an illustrative tour de force through the materials, artisanship, and extraordinary products that have made the Italian label one of the most eminent luxury goods houses. Tomas Maier’s understated design sensibility, a mixture of restraint and passion, has become the hallmark of the Bottega Veneta brand. This is the ultimate volume for the true connoisseur of luxury handcraftsmanship.
By Tomas Maier Price: $100 [Amazon] Rizzolitakes you inside the book.
Mrs. Lehndorff, she was the most beautiful, the most famous, the highest paid, the most beloved among models of that time of splendor of fashion. Yet she, in his book, he says, that his youth wonderful, especially the pain, despair, madness. "All my life I have moved in and out of the neurosis. Modeling was a way to get away from me same, it was a niche in which it seemed to me to be able to save. I was in frenzy of change, I changed cities, continents, houses, photographers, agencies, men. I thought that if I stopped I would be drowned. I was always on the run, but not enough: it was time that collapsed, folded, insomnia and anxiety, panic and rush in and hallucinations. was trying to kill me. I spent more time in front of the lens that psychiatric clinics of the greatest photographers, Arthur Penn, Richard Avedon, Gian Franco Barbieri, David Bailey, Franco Rubartelli, which for five years was also my partner jealous. "
Too bad the book is in Italian only. I would have liked to have read it. Above image is of Veruschka now, from Marie Claire Italy.
About This Book This much-anticipated first monograph of the highly
influential photographer showcases the best of his sensual fashion
images and nudes. Famous for his cinematic approach, Denis Piel catches
women off guard, engaged in sensual moments that are filled with magic
and curiosity. Known as one of the wonderboys of fashion photography of
the 1980s, Piel and his style and aesthetic have influenced many
photographers today.This volume, designed by award-winning designer
Ruth Ansel, features a selection of images spanning Piel’s career,
including those taken on assignment for fashion magazines and
advertising clients as well as nudes of breathtaking women who would
become the supermodels and actresses of a new generation, such as
Nastassja Kinski, Uma Thurman, Andie MacDowell, Christy Turlington, Gia
Carangi, Tatjana Patitz, Kelly LeBrock, and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Celebrating 60 years, La Perla is set to release 'La Perla: Lingerie and Desire'.
Cover model: Jeisa Chiminazzo Written by: Isabella Cardinali Release date: October 23rd 2012 Price: $85 ($53.55 on amazon)
About the book: A gorgeously illustrated book showcasing the exquisite high-end lingerie from the world-renowned Italian brand La Perla. La Perla is celebrated for its sophisticated, sexy, and beautifully designed and crafted lingerie. The company was founded by Ada Masotti, an artisan skilled in the tradition of handcrafted Italian corsetry, in 1954 when she opened a small lingerie boutique in Bologna. She combined her impeccable craftsmanship and understanding of women’s bodies to fulfill their growing desire to possess undergarments that were not only functional but also beautiful and alluring. The continuous dedication to artisanship, to fine quality, and to women’s needs and desires has transformed the small Italian boutique into an internationally beloved brand. La Perla’s lingerie is a mix of beauty and seduction, and it is the unparalleled choice for women all over the world when they want to feel sensual and desired. This is the only book ever published on the glamorous and delicate lingerie produced by La Perla throughout its history. The book first pays homage to the Italian craftsmanship, including the use of fine Italian fabrics, that helped to establish La Perla as the maker of sophisticated couture lingerie, and that continues with today’s collections to set the company apart from other brands. Then it showcases the exceptional intimate garments the company has created throughout the years with gorgeous archival images as well as sexy, sumptuous photographs of the latest collections. [Rizzoli]
“There’s a documentary about the editors who have created some of the more iconic images that have been associated with Vogue,” he explained. “There’s a book called The Editor’s Eye, and the HBO documentary is kind of timed to coincide with the publication of that book. But it’s exploring the unsung heroines and heroes of Vogue — the great editors from Babs Simpson, who was working with Irving Penn in the forties and fifties to Polly Mellen, of course, who worked with Avedon, and so many others, right up to Grace Coddington and Tonne [Goodman] and Phyllis Posnick and Camilla Nickerson. It’s great, because perhaps until The September Issue people weren’t aware how incredibly important the sittings editors were. They’re individual, strong, creative eyes, so it’s interesting to see.”
Vogue: The Editor’s Eye celebrates the pivotal role the fashion editor has played in shaping America’s sense of style since the magazine’s launch 120 years ago. Drawing on Vogue’s exceptional archive, this book focuses on the work of eight of the magazine’s legendary fashion editors (including Polly Mellen, Babs Simpson, and Grace Coddington) who collaborated with photographers, stylists, and designers to create the images that have had an indelible impact on the fashion world and beyond. Featuring the work of world-renowned photographers such as Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, and Annie Leibovitz and model/muses, including Marilyn Monroe, Verushka, and Linda Evangelista, The Editor’s Eye is a lavishly illustrated look at the visionary editors whose works continue to reverberate in the culture today.