BF-96-23 -- Applied Arts


Who's Who in Contemporary Ceramic Arts: A Comprehensive Bio-bibliographical Guide to Austria, Germany, Switzerland. München: Waldrich. 25 cm. (Joachim-Waldrich-Verlag, Belgradstr. 9, D-80796 München) [96-2/3-304]

1996. xii, 836 p. ISBN 3-929554-01-1: DM 398.00

Unlike its predecessor Who's Who in Contemporary Glass Art (Munich, 1993) (IFB 94-1-084), which was international in its coverage, this work focuses on artists from German-speaking Europe. With over 2,000 entries, its scope extends to important artists whose careers flourished after 1945, even if they have died since. For each artist one finds basic facts pertaining to biography and professional life, as well as a bibliography. This work is likely to be used only in rather specialized collections. Given the dismal sales figures for the volume on glass artists, it is not surprising that the publisher has abandoned plans to publish a new edition every two years. The ceramists volume, very cautiously, carries no edition numbering at all. An update on diskette between new editions might be a useful compromise. [shl/sl]


Reclams Mode- und Kostümlexikon [Reclam Lexicon of Fashion and Costume]. Ingrid Loschek. 3d rev. and expanded ed. Stuttgart: Reclam, 1994. 551 p.: ill. 22 cm. ISBN 3-15-010403-3: DM 49.80

What was called the second edition of this title (1988) was really just a reprint. This, the third edition, is described as revised and expanded, though upon closer inspection one discovers that the changes are really rather minor. The introduction provides an introduction to the history of costume, paying attention to the interrelationships between fashion and socio-historical forces. The main section contains over 2,000 articles. Especially useful are those that go beyond mere definitions and elaborate on the historical development of articles of clothing, although it is too often evident that the information has not been updated since the mid-1980s. The placement and quality of the accompanying illustrations leaves much to be desired. The subject section is supplemented by a biographical part, covering couturiers/couturières (back at least to the eighteenth century) and designer firms. The volume concludes with an extensive bibliography. Especially useful are the references to sources of images from the sixteenth century on (under the listing "Modejournale"). This work will be useful to both the lay person and the scholar, though one hopes that future editions will present a more thoroughly updated text and higher-quality images. [dg/sl]


Contemporary Fashion. Ed. Richard Martin. London; Detroit [et al.]: St. James Press, 1995. xi, 575 p. 29 cm. (Contemporary Arts Series). ISBN 1-55862-173-3: £100.00

With 128 articles on Americans, Contemporary Fashion betrays a strong US-bias; nonetheless, its reach extends from high fashion (Chanel) to mass merchandise (Benetton), from the classics (Hermès) to the avantgarde (Demeulemeester). (The U.K. is represented by 80 designers, France by 78, etc.). In the absence of a comprehensive index, individual designers can be difficult to locate without knowing under which "label" they will appear (Margarethe Ley under Laurèl, for example.) This work is informative, if incomplete, given the absence of material on the likes of photographers, models and stylists. In this sense the title is misleading. The photographs are not of high quality and too often fail to illustrate what is typical and individual about a given design. The bibliographic references include both primary and secondary literature, both books and journal articles. Anglo-American publications dominate. The country index seems muddled: Kenzo, who works in Paris, is listed under Japan, whereas Turkish-born Rifat Ozbek , now in London, is found under England. The US emphasis is both the strength and weakness of the work. On the one hand, it is good to be reminded that there is more to fashion than what happens in France and Italy. On the other, one badly misses names such as Toni Gard, Annex, and Marc Cain. [dg/sl]


Dictionnaire de la mode au XXe siècle [Dictionary of 20th Century Fashion]. Ed. Bruno Remaury. Paris : Editions du Regard, 1994. 592 p. 31 cm. ISBN 2-84105-048-3: FF 650.00

Dictionnaire de la mode au XXe siècle is very broadly conceived. Unlike Contemporary Fashion it pays attention to those "behind the scenes," e.g., hair stylists, make-up artists, photographers and journalists. In addition to its biographical articles, the Dictionnaire covers professional organizations, specialized terminology, the history of individual fashion journals, etc. Individuals who are known as "labels" are listed under the first name, e.g. Giorgio Armani, a practice that causes some difficulty in the absence of cross-references and a good index. Thematic cross-references at the end of articles compensate to a degree for the absence of a good overview, though there are no indexes. The illustrative material is of a high quality. A bibliography (largely French titles) concludes the volume. [dg/sl]

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