Beene by Beene: Geoffrey Beene

Geoffrey Beene, Author, James Wolcott, Author, Marylou Luther, Author , with James Wolcott, Marylou Luther, Laura Jacobs and Pamela A. Parmal. Vendome $65 (204p) ISBN 978-0-86565-162-3

Beene, who died in 2004 at age 77, strove to create clothing that celebrated a woman's form by letting it move. The results were dresses, jackets and pantsuits that were timeless, rather than of-the-moment. This collection of photographs and essays, conceived by Beene before his death, brings together thoughts from Vanity Fair columnist Wolcott and contributor Jacobs, editor Luther and Parmal, Boston Museum of Fine Arts curator for a comprehensive retrospective of Beene's 40-year career. The book's design is as spare and straightforward as a Beene cocktail dress. Photos by several photographers show such diverse images as ballerinas in woolly overcoats and closeups of small flourishes, such as the stitching on a belt or the folds of a crepe flower accenting a bolero jacket. The abundance of space and simplicity complements Beene's formidable collection and melds with the prose's aim of putting couture in context. A minor pucker in the volume's seam is its occasional tendency toward hagiography (contributors depict Beene as perhaps the most inventive, intelligent and artistic designer who ever lived). But their breathless admiration is balanced with enough detail about Beene's inspirations and career path to make the work an important contribution to fashion history. 150 illus. (Nov. 1)

Reviewed on: 10/10/2005
Release date: 10/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
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