Author(s): Edwina Ehrman
An academically rigorous and beautiful new publication on a crucial chapter in fashion history London Couture is the first book to examine, in detail, the luxurious garments produced by the rarefied London couture industry - from lavish ballgowns to sharply tailored suits and spectacular court dress - as well as the designers who conceived them, their clients and the prestigious publications that disseminated and promoted the 'London Look' to an international audience. Expert authors from around the world have delved into museum collections, as well as the archives of prestigious designers, textile suppliers and fashionable journals, to bring together this pioneering study of the London couture houses of the early to midtwentieth century, renowned for their superb craftsmanship and attention to detail. The full breadth of London's offering is examined, from royal favourite Norman Hartnell to pioneer Charles James, and prestigious houses such as Lucile, Worth and Hardy Amies. The ancillary dressmaking trades in London are also considered, as are the international markets for London couture, and the impact of royal dress on high-end fashion.A wealth of visual material supports the extensive, original research - from beautiful features by celebrated photographer Norman Parkinson to the elegant illustrations of Francis Marshall. Previously unseen garments are illustrated throughout the book, alongside historical photography that documents the houses of the great designers, their favoured fabrics and their most glamorous clients, including Queen Elizabeth II, Margot Fonteyn, and many stars of stage and screen.
Edwina Erhman is a curator of textiles and fashion at the V&A. Amy de la Haye is Rootstein Hopkins Professor of Dress History and Curatorship at London College of Fashion.