The Men’s Fashion Book’ Tackles History of Men’s Wear – WWD

The Men’s Fashion Book’ Tackles History of Men’s Wear – WWD

Phaidon is turning its attention to men’s fashion.

Following the publication of its bestselling “The Fashion Book,” which offers an overview of the industry, the publisher will release a men’s version, “The Men’s Fashion Book,” on Dec. 1. The 528-page coffee table tome zeroes in on 500 of the greatest names in men’s wear over the past 200 years.

With an introduction by Jacob Gallagher, men’s fashion editor for Off Duty at the Wall Street Journal, the book highlights iconic moments past, present and future in men’s fashion. Everyone from Joseph Abboud, Brooks Brothers and Fred Astaire to Dapper Dan, David Bowie, Thom Browne and Virgil Abloh are featured in the book.

All told, 126 designers, 96 brands, 35 photographers, 20 footwear designers, 18 accessory designers, 21 tailors, 15 publications, 13 models, 13 stylists and seven illustrators, plus art directors, writers, editors, influencers, milliners and textile designers, are spotlighted by the Phaidon editors who penned the book. Its front and back covers feature illustrations by artist Christoph Niemann.

Joseph Abboud's fall 2019 runway show.

Joseph Abboud’s fall 2019 runway show.

Subjects discussed include subcultures such as mods and Jamaican rude boys; the enduring influence of tailored clothing; discussions on androgyny and gender-fluidity; the use of high-tech fabrics, and the rising popularity of streetwear and norm-breaking brands.

The editors’ note that opens the book explains the concept: “After [Beau] Brummel’s age of dandyism and then the Industrial Revolution, men’s fashion became exceedingly conformist as more and more people entered an urban workplace, rigid with standards and beliefs about masculinity. Black, brown, blue and, ultimately, gray, flannel suits…owed more to the idea of a man in uniform than to a means of self-expression.”

But that began to change in the 1960s, and continues to this day, which is what spawned the book. “There are many books about men’s style: dressing for success, effortless street style, how to pull off the latest trends…but none of the books are actually an integrated, encyclopedic overview of men’s fashion,” the editors said.

Gallagher sums up in his intro: “Men’s fashion is very much alive, bounding forward with ingenuity and then receding back into timeworn styles again and again….What this text aims to do is herald the catalysts that took those sartorial swings that have kept fashion in perpetual motion since time immemorial.”

On Tuesday night, The Webster and Farfetch are hosting an event at The Webster’s SoHo store to celebrate the publication of the book, which will retail for $79.95 and is available for preorder on the Phaidon website.


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