Editors Note From The First Edition

This volume is dedicated to Colin Naylor (1944—92), who initiated its publication and was editor until his early death. Colin's distinguished contributions to the arts—as editor of Art & Artists and as editor of indispensable reference volumes published by St. James Press and the Gale Group—resonate with his lively sense of the role of contemporary arts. I had the privilege of writing for him at Art & Artists decades ago and began on this volume in order to be involved again with an old friend and an inspiring editor. While he is not present for its outcome, Contemporary Fashion will always bear Colin's sense of adventure, scope of interest, and unceasing imagination. Contemporary Fashion is, I hope, no less Colin's book and dream for his absence upon its fulfillment.

Contemporary Fashion seeks to provide information on and assessment of fashion designers active during the period from 1945 to the present. International in scope in accordance with fashion's wide resourcing and dissemination, this volume attempts to provide dependable information and substantive critical appraisal in a field often prone to excessive praise and hyperbolic language. Each entry consists of a personal and professional biography; bibliographic citations by and about the designer; when possible, a statement by the designer on his or her work and/or design philosophy; and a concise, informative essay. The book's emphasis is on design creativity and distinction; in instances of a corporation, family business, design house, or other collective enterprise, we have attempted to hone in on the distinguishing attributes of the design tradition. Much literature from specialized periodicals is assimilated in the critical essays and listed in the bibliographies, offering the reader access to a wide variety and deep concentration of specialized literature.

Special appreciation is owed to the designers and design houses who generously supplied statements, information, and visual documentation. Virtually everyone in the civilized world talks about fashion. It is an area in which most of us consider ourselves knowledgeable, if only as a function of making our own clothing decisions on a daily basis. Contemporary Fashion gives value to the data and ideas of fashion discussion; it is intended to aid the discourse about apparel and edify the lively fashion conversation. Contemporary Fashion is to stand as a solid reference where no other comparable volumes exist and to make a contribution to fashion study and its allied expressions.

—Richard Martin (1947-99)

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