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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Anna Piaggi's Fashion Algebra

If you follow my blog you'll have an inkling of the horrible technology problems that I'm having, so it'll be no surprise that I've turned back to books.

See, books won't suddenly shut and refuse to open again. You won't turn a page of a book and find it covered in error messages. Books can still be read even if you're not near a wireless hotspot. And if you have a problem with a book, the answer usually doesn't involve calling a hotline where the rep on the phone snidely informs you that you're chained to a contract even if the provider no longer covers you *shakes fist for the millionth time this week*

'Hem. Excuse me. That was a bit of an over elaborate lead-up to showing you a few scans from a recent acquisition; a copy of the now out-of-print Anna Piaggi's Fashion Algebra, published by Thames and Hudson in the 90's and made of of the most notable of Piaggi's D.Ps for Italian Vogue up to that point.

The introduction and subsequent chapter title pages have words that are led around the pages or arranged like poems, and are short and sharp.


This is the Chapter 12; Characters title page. All the title pages are in monochrome to really contrast from the multicoloured, multi-medium D.P's within.

Multicoloured Pantone goodness

A very green season with all the shades of a colour chart, from Veronese Green to cinnabar.  To the list of classic greens are added those that are techno-botanical:  the new artificial greens - like the acrylic green of Gianni Versace (left) and the metallic verdigris of hair at Yohji Yamamoto (right, bottom).  The crocodile bags by Anna Molinari are also green (far left).  And there are greens mixed with blue by Missoni.  February 1996, no 546.


A spread about the beguiling nature of the Gibson Girl.  Ah, to be that clean-cut and have picnics and ride penny-farthing bicycles (I presume that this is all that a Gibson Girl did).  The little text blurb reads:

The return of the old-fashioned picnic, with all the style of Le Dejuneur sur  l'herbe:  wicker hampers from Milan, by Lorenzi and by Eve; tableclothsby Ken Scott; thermos flasks from Hermes.  Even the new bags in fabric and in straw (Jean-Paul Gaultier) have that picnic look.  August 1994, No 528.


Tweedy ladies taking tea and discussing the local news in suits by John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Yohji Yamamoto.  Then there's the puritan style of Vivienne Westwood or - for hanging out the washing - the colourful escapism of Clements Ribeiro... November 1997, no 567

This book is fairly expensive (I got a great deal because I bought one without a dustcover) but is well-worth trying to source a copy.  I can't remember the last time I pored over a book like this and tried to take i every image.  It's almost impossible to absorb everything, so everytime I come back to it, I find something new and totally wonderful.