From Azzedine Ala?a, Cristóbal Balenciaga, and Coco Chanel to Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, and Vivienne Westwood, a century’s worth of fashion greats from the permanent collection of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City are celebrated in this fresh edition of Fashion Designers A–Z. Formerly available as a limited Collector’s Edition only, this accessibly priced and updated new edition features photographs of over 500 garments selected from the Museum’s permanent collection. From an exquisitely embroidered velvet evening gown to Mondrian-style minimalist chic, each chosen piece is chosen not only for its beauty but for its representative value, distilling the unique philosophy and aesthetics of each of the featured designers. Texts by the museum’s curators explain why each designer is important in fashion history and what is special about the chosen garments. In her introductory essay, director and chief curator Valerie Steele writes about the rise of the fashion museum, and the emergence of the fashion exhibition as a popular and controversial phenomenon. Together with a foreword by Suzy Menkes, Steele’s writings also provide a history of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in the world of fashion scholarship and museology.
The editor and author
Valerie Steele is director and chief curator of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology and founding editor of Fashion Theory. Described in The Washington Post as one of “fashion’s brainiest women” and by Suzy Menkes as “the Freud of fashion,” Steele combines serious scholarship (and a Yale Ph.D.) with a rare ability to communicate with general audiences. As author, curator, editor, and public intellectual, Steele has been instrumental in creating the modern field of fashion studies.
The contributing author
Undisputed doyenne of the international fashion press, Suzy Menkes is head fashion editor of the International Herald Tribune. Among the world's most influential fashion critics, she is an officer of the Order of the British Empire as well as a chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur. She lives and works in Paris.