“Fashion: A Collection of Essays on the Art of Being Out,” by Kevin Cohen is a nice little book. It starts out with an interesting philosophical essay about fashion that I thought was good, and then got personal with its description of wearing clothes. I think part of what makes Cohen’s work so good is his honesty, in that he tells you exactly how he dresses. I also liked the writing style, which can be dry and sometimes confusing. Still, overall, I felt that this book was not really all that great.
I think part of what made Cohen’s books so successful is that he was able to combine humor with serious and even philosophical discussion of fashion. In other words, he brings fashion and art into conversation with the reader. I think that’s why his books have such a wide audience. People from all sorts of backgrounds can appreciate his style of thinking. Besides, most of his designs are really beautiful.
I enjoyed this book quite a bit, especially the first half, where Cohen describes his history and talks about the various design schools he has belonged to over the years. I particularly enjoyed the sections where he discusses the difference between urban and classical fashion and the different cultural influences on his designs. Also, I really liked the section where he talks about being from a culturally Jewish family and how his personality influenced the way he chose to design clothing. Also, the section on traveling and the design aspect of that was intriguing and educational. He gives us some tips for doing so as well.
I also really enjoyed the book review of the same book, which I found online at author Michelle Elliot’s website. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I live near Toronto, and when I am there I always want to go out to the shops there and look at the latest fashion in the city, and especially in the fashion designer boutiques near my house. So it was fun to read this book review and get a little insider info about the fashion designers and boutiques around here. I know a lot more now than I did when I was younger, and it is really interesting to me to see the evolution of fashion over the past couple decades or so.
There is one thing that really jumped out at me while reading the book, and that was the discussion of the Constructive Fabrics movement and its impact on fashion. Cohen really does paint a vivid picture of the challenges designers and makers faced while trying to figure out what to make for their clients. It was quite an eye opening read. I also learned that the book got its inspiration from many other disciplines as well, including sewing, architecture, tapestry, photography and even ancient mythology. It is quite a fascinating read and will make you think about some of the challenges and decisions designers face.
One thing I think the book lacked, however, were explanations of how exactly certain things were designed, and why. There is a lot of theory in there, and I wanted to understand these theories and concepts more fully. There are many discussions of color wheel and other fashion theory, but they often gloss over the actual nitty gritty of how fabrics and garments are made. I think if you wanted to learn more about the design side of fashion, this would be a great book to read.
I also really liked the portions that focused on the different aspects of fashion design, and the implications of certain styles of clothing for society in general. This is very important, and something that we often take for granted. Fashion designers need to remember that there are many layers to the social fabric of our society. In the book, Cohens shows how certain styles and fashions may be perceived differently depending on the culture in which they are worn. These kinds of nuances are extremely important when it comes to fashion design, and learning how each aspect affects society as a whole is fascinating.
The thing I like best about Cohens’ books is that they are so practical. They discuss various areas of fashion design with a lot of thought and understanding behind them. I think that if you’re a serious student of fashion, they would benefit you a lot as you would learn new techniques from each book that you read. I have read quite a few of his books already, and they are all practical and great books to read. If you want to learn more about fashion, I highly recommend that you check out some of Cohens’ books.