Visionaries: Interviews with Fashion Designers as "Perfect". Just one word - and nothing else. Ironically, in case of this fantastic book once dubbed by Dazed & Confused as "the fashion bible", it was enough.
I bought it led by the endless quest of learning as much as possible about people who contributed to the evolution of fashion by creating unforgettable and innovative collections that one way or another broke the rules. The fashion designers, from Alaia to Yves Saint Laurent, they were the ones I was after for nobody can express an opinion or share valuable insights into their craft or life better than people themselves.
The Visionaries was a lucky find. It was published by V&A in 2001 as a collection of interviews between Susannah Frankel and twenty three designers from Alexander McQueen, Alaia, John Galliano and Jean-Paul Gaultier to Yves Saint Laurent, Martin Margiela, Helmut Lang and Hussein Chalayan, just to name a few.
Originally appearing between 1997 and 2001 in The Guardian, The Independent, Dazed & Confused as well as a part of live interviews that took place at Victoria & Albert museum, each story was also a form of editorial featuring sublime imagery by Kent Baker, Jane McLeish, Donald Christie, Ben Ingham, Dmon Pruner, Glen Eler, Mark Aleski, and Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.
One of the best things? The interviews are pages and pages long, sincere, unfiltered, frank. They are the precious moments reflecting the times and fashions, and conversation to remember and use as inspiration or source of mind-blowing quotes. And unless you were one of the people who obsessively collected every single magazine and newspaper featuring the articles or had an access to archives, this book is the only alternative that preserved everything perfectly for years to come. It's a real treasure. At least, that's the way I feel about my tome.
Photo source: preview photos of Visionaries: Interviews with Fashion Designers by me featuring Rebecca Brennan wearing Valentino Haute Couture Spring/Summer 1998 styled by Lucy Ewing & photographed by Robert Wyatt, Dolce & Gabbana Autumn/Winter 1997 styled by Romaine Lillie & photographed by Ben Ingham for The Guardian, Hussein Chalayan Spring/Summer 2000 styled by Sophia Neuphitou & photographed by Mark Aleski for The Independent, Paul Smith Autumn/Winter 1998 styled by Romaine Lillie & photographed by Ben Ingham for The Guardian, Clements Ribeiro Spring/Summer 2000 styled by Sophia Neophitou & photographed by Glen Eler for The Independent, Yohji Yamamoto Spring/Summer 1999 styled by Sophia Neophitou & photographed by Jane McLeish for Independent on Sunday