This year, Address will be publishing a series of essays exploring the relationship between colour and fashion. To celebrate this, we selected three recently published books that reveal the politics, economics, culture and beauty underneath a spectrum of hues.
Colors in Fashion by Jonathan Faiers and Mary Westerman Bulgarella
Color speaks a powerful cultural language, conveying political, sexual, and economic messages that, throughout history, have revealed how we relate to ourselves and our world. This ground-breaking compilation is the first to investigate how color in fashionable and ceremonial dress has played a significant social role, indicating acceptance and exclusion, convention and subversion.
From white used for pioneering feminism to the penchant for black in post-war France, and from mystical scarlet broadcloth to the horrors of arsenic-laden green fashion, this publication demonstrates that color in dress is never straightforward and is as mutable, nuanced, and varied as color itself. Divided into four thematic parts – solidarity, power, innovation, and desire – each section highlights the often violent, emotional histories of color in dress across geographical, temporal and cultural boundaries. Underlying today’s relaxed attitude to color lies a chromatic complexity that speaks of wars, migrations and economics.
While acknowledging the importance that technology has played in the development of new dyes, the chapters explore color as a catalyst for technical innovation that continues to inspire designers, artists, and performers. Bringing together cutting-edge contributions from leading scholars, it is essential reading for academics of fashion, textiles, design, cultural studies and art history.
Published by Bloomsbury
The Secret Lives of Colour by Kassia St Clair
The Secret Lives of Colour tells the unusual stories of the 75 most fascinating shades, dyes and hues. From blonde to ginger, the brown that changed the way battles were fought to the white that protected against the plague, Picasso’s blue period to the charcoal on the cave walls at Lascaux, acid yellow to kelly green, and from scarlet women to imperial purple, these surprising stories run like a bright thread throughout history. In this book Kassia St Clair has turned her lifelong obsession with colours and where they come from (whether Van Gogh’s chrome yellow sunflowers or punk’s fluorescent pink) into a unique study of human civilisation. Across fashion and politics, art and war, The Secret Lives of Colour tell the vivid story of our culture.
Published by John Murray
Dior: The Art of Color by Marc Ascoli and Jerry Stafford
This exquisite book takes the reader on a kaleidoscopic journey through the history of makeup, style, and color at the revered fashion house of Dior. An exquisite ode to color, this book presents the history of Dior cosmetics placed within contexts of fashion and art. Divided into twelve chapters (White, Silver, Nude, Pink, Red, Purple, Blue, Green, Yellow, Gold, Gray, and Black) Dior: The Art of Color showcases not only the sometimes glamorous, sometimes natural cosmetics, but also the aesthetics of color, which was the source of inspiration for so much of Dior’s creations. The evolution of color through the ages is presented with iconic works from renowned artists and Dior makeup advertising campaigns—including creations from some of the greats in the field, such as Serge Lutens, Tyen, and the current head of Dior makeup, Peter Philips—captured by master photographers such as Irving Penn, Guy Bourdin, and Richard Burbridge. With a highly engaging text and never-before-seen imagery, this is a book that no student of fashion or art should be without.
Published by Rizzoli