By Charlie Scheips
Whether you're a fashion junkie or someone who couldn't care less about what she throws on in the morning, this book is an absolute necessity for your coffee table. I fall somewhere right in the middle of the two extremes, and found myself quickly lost in the exquisite photographs and essays chronicling the past 70 years of American fashion on each page. Commissioned by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), the book pays tribute to the icons, publications, photographers, and designers who have defined each era. The unexpected aspect of this masterpiece lies in the fact that it manages to be equally visual and cerebral. It is part aesthetic indulgence as you are guided through beautiful pictures taken by world-renowned photographers such as Helmut Newton and Patrick Demarchelier, yet part informative as you learn the background behind the different trends in relation to what was going on in society and culture starting in the 1930s and culminating with the modern trends of today. American Fashion is sure to be a crowd pleaser at any holiday gathering, not to mention an excellent gift.
-- Abigail Cuffey