In February 2011 John Galliano, the lauded head of Christian Dior, imploded with a drunken, anti-Semitic public tirade. Exactly a year earlier, celebrated designer Alexander McQueen took his own life three weeks before his women's wear show. Both were casualties of the war between art and commerce that has raged within fashion for the last two decades.
In the mid-1990s, Galliano and McQueen arrived on the fashion scene when the business was in an artistic and economic rut. They shook the establishment out of its bourgeois, minimalist stupor with daring, sexy designs and theatrical fashion shows. They had similar backgrounds: sensitive, shy gay men raised in tough London neighborhoods, their love of fashion nurtured by their doting mothers. By 1997 both had landed jobs as creative directors for couture houses owned by French tycoon Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH.
Galliano's and McQueen's work not only influenced fashion; their distinct styles were reflected across the media landscape. With their help luxury fashion evolved from a clutch of small, family-owned businesses into a $280 billion-a-year global corporate industry. Executives pushed the designers to meet increasingly rapid deadlines. For both Galliano and McQueen, the pace was unsustainable.
The same week that Galliano was fired, Forbes named Arnault the fourth richest man in the world. Two months later, in the wake of McQueen's death, Kate Middleton wore a McQueen wedding gown, instantly making the house the world's most famous fashion brand, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened a wildly successful McQueen retrospective, cosponsored by the corporate owners of the McQueen brand. The corporations had won, and the artists had lost.
In her groundbreaking work Gods and Kings, acclaimed journalist Dana Thomas tells the true story of McQueen and Galliano. In so doing she reveals the relentless world of couture.
©2015 Dana Thomas (P)2015 Recorded Books
This book provided so much insight into the stressful and shallow yet fantastical realm of contemporary fashion. I was compelled to binge-listen. Any fans of fashion or art history would enjoy this without question.
I work in fashion and these two are geniuses. I thoroughly enjoyed this from beginning to end. I cannot stop thinking about it. I even enjoyed the narration. Loved it.
Ms.Thomas takes us on long journey and we are not getting lost, bored, disoriented or confused. Story line is carefully navigated with accurate events and details.Ms. Sastre narrated book beautifully, with passion, pronouncing names correctly in different languages. I think it was a labor of love for Ms. Thomas to deliver this book. I enjoy her writing so much, even more when it's narrated so well. Listening to the book ,gives me space to look up everything and follow by adding a picture to description. Wonderful. What a journey.
The British accent gets tiring to listen to, and the constant switching back and forth into a French accent even on words commonly used in English can get irritating.
Overall a good look at modern fashion history and how drastically the landscape shifted in the '90's and early 2000's. A very in depth look at two of fashions once bright lights
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