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Reviewed by Lizzie Bramlett – The Vintage Traveler

Radical Rags: Fashions of the Sixties
by Joel Lobenthal
(Abbeville Press ISBN 0-89659-930-2) Buy Now

The book is look at the fashions and fashion influences of the 1960s. The book focuses on the fashion scenes in London, New York, Paris, Rome and the US West Coast and it also profiles the major designers of the time.

Every fashion history fan knows about Mary Quant and Andre Courreges, but where does one go to learn about Deanna Littell and Emmanuelle Khanh? To “Radical Rags”, of course!

This book is much more than just a fashion history; it puts the clothes of the 1960s into a cultural and historical context that you don’t get from most fashion books.

And while the major designers like Quant and Courreges are discussed in detail in the book, the smaller players like Littell and Khanh are not ignored as they are in so many other books. There is information in this book about designers that I have never read in any other source.

One of the real strengths of the book is that much of it is based in interviews that the author had with many of the designers. Another is the photographs, many of which I’ve seen only in this book.

This book can be a little difficult to read. The casual reader might be put off by the vocabulary and the emphasis on the cultural rather than on fashion.

Overall, “Radical Rags” is the best book I know of that deals with just the fashions of the 1960s.

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