NONFICTION

Champagne Supernovas: Kate Moss, Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen, and the 90s Renegades Who Remade Fashion

Touchstone. Sept. 2014. 304p. notes. ISBN 9781451640533. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781451640595. DEC ARTS
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Callahan (Poker Face) surfs the wave of Nineties nostalgia with this dishy account of the backgrounds and careers of three of that decade's most influential fashion personalities—Alexander McQueen, Kate Moss, and Marc Jacobs—as well as the people who supported and worked alongside them: Isabella Blow, Corinne Day, and Kim Gordon, among others. The author covers the rise of heroin chic and the popular backlash against it, as well as the principals' own struggles with drugs and alcohol, risky sexual behavior, and mental illness. McQueen's tale is particularly tragic; he committed suicide in 2010. All is not darkness, however; Callahan spends plenty of time discussing capital-F Fashion—the designers' inspirations, their well-known collections and runway shows, behind-the-scenes looks at modeling and running a fashion business, and the celebrities and It Girls who gravitated to McQueen's and Jacobs's work. The book might be a little intense for casual lovers of fashion who may wonder if it's even possible to make clothing without indulging in frequent orgies. But readers with a serious interest in creative work and the toll it takes on those who practice it will be fascinated.
VERDICT Recommended for all public libraries and for academic libraries where there are fashion or pop culture programs.

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