|Review| The Beautiful Fall

19 March, 2013

 the overdue review for our first virtual reading club book The Beautiful Fall is finally here. It was my first fashion related read as I was overly consumed in anthropological and sociological books for a very long time, so it was a nice refreshing change (although I still love my anthro/soc books). When I was thinking of what book I should read for our first virtual reading club, I knew I wanted something with a bit of fashion history and a little bit of a biography, this book does just that. I was able to get my both fixes as it presented the two very parallel lives of two historical fashion designers whom prevailed in their own way in the industry, Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld. They both met at an early stage in their lives where both received praises and awards for their remarkable craftsmanship, in which should have been the premises to unit them for the force known as fashion, but somewhere along the way they begin leading different paths that eventually would set the tone for their relationship in the future. Their relationship was a bit distant from the beginning, because although they had several opportunities where they spent time together it seemed only because they shared similar friends, went to the same school, were aspiring designers and shared the dream of living in Paris. It really wasn't that surprising that their relationship would turn out the way it did, but then again isn't that an inevitable circumstance when you are aspiring for the same thing? Naturally people tend to be competitive whether they like to admit it or not and the case was that for Saint Laurent and Lagerfeld. But it really wasn't a matter of who was going to be better than whom, there really isnt much rivalry as I expected, it was really more about their own internal desires to be the best at what they loved most.

Both of these two men had a tormented childhood, only due to their pronounced charactestics. They were both different from each other yet they both ignited ridicule from their counterparts because they were unmistakably not like the rest. Saint Laurent was an introvert, a prisoner of his own mind, who repressed himself from his true desires in fear of what others would think. His only escape was to be able to sketch, and bring to life the many fantasies that were living in his mind. As for Lagerfeld, he was not afraid to be who he was, he knew he was different but in an "I am better than you" sort of way, he felt superior to the rest, ahead of his time. His persona was created from an early start and in a way I feel he knew what he was doing, because his persona translated into his designs.

Saint Laurent was the one who suffered the The Beautiful Fall because he out of the two had the most abrupt rise to the top, he was able to accomplish success from the very beginning, but ended up short towards the end of his career. As for Lagerfeld he had a slow but steady start, which really reflected on how the rest of his success in the industry would be like. Lagerfeld's success has been at the latter part of his life, as he continues to push the buttons just like he did in his early years. Saint Laurent was more emotional and instinctual, the reason why his designs where much more ethereal and fantasy-like. While Lagerfeld was and is more calculated and aggressive; therefore, his designs have been modern and edgy. None the less Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld both had their rise and falls, each shared a love for design that took them far beyond their dreams and lived tempest lives that often kept them from fully enjoying the ride.

a must read for those who want to get a glimpse of what it was like to live through some trying times in the fashion industry, not only because of the geographical disadvantages Paris was facing during the 50s and 60s but because of what that would mean to the world of couture houses and how the face of fashion would be forever changed. To give you an example of what was going on during those times here is a piece of the book that really caught my attention and created an everlasting thought in my mind:

can you imagine living in a moment where trousers were in question for their longevity? a thought that is extinct for the modern woman. Trousers are like showers, it's not a matter of question, it's a necessity. Beautiful isn't it how history evolves, how everything is ever changing and we are just along for the ride. That is all for today folks, I hope you enjoyed my review and that you at least got a glimpse of what the book is really about (for those who didn't read it, which I hope some of you did). Now if you have any comments of your own, please I would love to hear them, don't be and Yves, be a Karl and express yourself.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! When giants walked the earth. Thank you. I went out and bought the book.


Thanks for the love!