This enormous compendium may be Ford's swan song as a designer, as he
recently announced that he was quitting fashion to direct movies. But for the
last 10 years, as the creative director at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, he took
the brands in fresh directions. This huge, slipcased Festschrift checks in at
11"×14", and covers each of the Gucci years individually, compiling product
shots, ads, runway candids, snippets of Ford wisdom ("I think you have to have
personality at a brand—otherwise, it's just clothes"), Gucci-sporting
celebrities and commercial stills. Vogue's Anna Wintour and Vanity
Fair's Graydon Carter contribute a foreword and introduction respectively.
The much-covered growth at Gucci and YSL are the real story behind the book, to
the point where the press chat credits Ford with "carving out a new industry
archetype: the businessman designer." But the 375 color and b&w photos, all
culled from existing fashion archives, is more of a look back at how Ford's
creations were presented (including year-by-year portraits of the photogenic
Ford himself), rather than what led to their creation, how they were actually
made or how they fit into the culture at large. As a 10-year time capsule of
brand fashioning, the book succeeds perfectly.
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