GROUNDBREAKING FASHION: 100 ICONIC MOMENTS
Jane Rocca ( Smith Street Books, $ 35)
One day, it’s possible the most enduring memory of John F. Kennedy will be the pink pillbox hat Jackie was wearing on the day the US president was assassinated, and her matching Chanel suit.
Whether cutting its cloth as social commentary (Lady Gaga, Madonna), gender politics ( power suits, the scandalous 1920s flapper), pop culture (mini skirts, Carrie Bradshaw’s Versace dress), or art (Rihanna’s stunning imperialyellow Met Gala gown, which took more than 20 months to make by hand), fashion manages, paradoxically, to be both at the forefront of change, yet a product of its time.
Of course, it’s the high art of commerce, too. Kylie Minogue picked up her gold hotpants in a London market for 50p, but the red leather jacket Michael Jackson wore in his 1983 “Thriller” clip sold at auction a few years ago for US$1.8 million.
Groundbreaking Fashion (on sale in hardback on April 1) is a satisfying snack of a book, with short, snappy text that’s not too reverential. And instead of airbrushed model shots, each “iconic moment” is rendered by Melbourne illustrator Juliet Sulejimani with a fresh, stylised charm. Time for my puffball skirt to come out of hiding.