New French dictionary is last word on fashion

18th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 18 (AFP) - A French publisher on Tuesday rolled out its latest world dictionary of fashion, a glossy and weighty tome that shows just how much the industry has changed since the first edition back in 1994.

PARIS, Jan 18 (AFP) - A French publisher on Tuesday rolled out its latest world dictionary of fashion, a glossy and weighty tome that shows just how much the industry has changed since the first edition back in 1994.

The International Dictionary of Fashion provides over 600 pages of dense information running from Aaage Thaarup, a veteran Danish fashion house, through to Zucchi, described as the number-one European group for household linen.

It is the international flavour of the dictionary, published only in French, which distinguishes it from its predecessor, said Lydia Kamitsis, a fashion historian and one of the work's editors.

"Over the past 10 years, we have above all seen just how much the fashion world has internationalised," she said.

"Back in 1994 the entries for Gucci and Prada were very short; today the two labels have turned into major groups."

Bruno Remaury, who teaches at the French Institute of Fashion and who edited both issues of the dictionary, also found that the industry had become much more volatile.

"The history of fashion houses is no longer stable," he told AFP. "They periodically change their entire culture, either because the art directors change, or because they come into new ownership."

Among the new names to appear in the latest edition were the US designers Rick Owens and Alber Elbaz, Japan's Junya Watanabe and the Frenchman Hedi Slimane.

Globalisation and the rise in the power of large retail groups was also a key change-inducing factor, Remaury added.

Some 80 people from a wide array of disciplines came together to produce the "Dictionnaire international de la Mode," which follows on from the previous "Dictionary of fashion in the 20th century" and is published by Editions du Regard in Paris.

People whose French is rusty or non-existent can console themselves with the around 1,000 pictures, many of striking quality.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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