The Fashionable Savages (The Swans)
Fairchild, John. The Fashionable Savages. First Edition. 1965. Book is in very good condition; jacket is in very good minus condition—jacket shows fraying and minor edge tears. Jacket illustration by Kenneth Paul Block.
Fashion by its definition is always changing, but rarely as radically as it did in the late 1960s. This book perfectly captures the era just before the deluge, when Truman Capote's Swans and their aesthetic dominated the fashion magazines. Capote’s famed Black and White ball was still a year in the future. It, in retrospect, cleaved the decade in two, making an anachronism of this book long before it first went out of print. No matter this book is great fun in any era. Spiky and opinionated, Fairchild covers the seemingly trivial details without ever forgetting the big ideas. He stops first in Paris and then New York, saving the best for last—a lengthy discussion of the Best Dressed List and those who appear on it. Includes fascinating insights into Babe Paley, Gloria Guinness, C.Z. Guest, the Duchess of Windsor, Jacqueline Kennedy, Coco Chanel, Diana Vreeland, and others of their ilk.
“Years ago when I was poor, I would buy a beautiful piece of jersey, cut a hole in the top, put it over my head and tie a beautiful sash around my waist. Everyone asked where I bought my dresses.”