Fashion Babylon by Imogen Edwards-Jones


CAUTION: Reading this book will forever change the way you peruse the racks at Bergdorf’s or flip through the pages of Vogue.

Taking the reader through six months in a designer’s life, Fashion Babylon follows an anonymous A-list British fashion designer looking to break out across the pond. Structured around three of the annual “must” industry events, this irresistible work of reportage goes inside the well-cut seams of the fashion world, where women are paid tens of thousands of dollars for simply getting dressed and where a wrong skirt length can cost you your career. You’ll find out how a collection is put together – from the objects of inspiration to the catwalk, into the shops and, hopefully, onto the cover of a magazine – and learn who goes to the shows and where they sit…and whose backside they have to kiss to get there.

Witty, naughty and jam-packed with celebrity gossip, Fashion Babylon decodes the markups and the comedowns, the fabulous extremes and the shoddy shortcuts behind one of the most lucrative and secretive businesses in the world.

i gave this book a 3 out of 5 stars. very much aware of my interest in fashion, a hs classmate recommended the book. she mentioned some very interesting trivia and all that time, i had the impression that it was a kind of documentary about the fashion industry. when i finally got the book (thankfully discounted at 10% or so, it was pricier than my usual buys) i was surprised that it read like a chic-lit minus the love story. yes, the gossip, the events and the industry secrets are true, gathered from various unnamed industry insiders but collectively voiced as an a-list designer. it’s a clever way of presenting the workings of the fashion industry instead of just presenting a litany of names, dates and events. I had expected and preferred a magazine article style of writing, maybe one that reads like a vogue editorial. while the chic-lit style made it an easy read, i find it lacking in some details. it does give an empathic picture of a designer’s struggle to make it big across the pond. a wiki of sorts of the FYIs in the fashion world and a good look at the salubrious side of the business. although a thoroughly enjoyable read, it’s a 3 on the account that it left me wanting more.

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