'What is fashion? What is fashionable? Who decides what's in and what's out? Why is it green one year and blue the next? Why is one little black dress worth £3000 and another thirty quid? Is the catwalk really that catty? Is everyone high on drugs and full of champagne? What makes a supermodel so super? And a designer too hot to touch? Who is making the money? Who owns who? Who hates who? And who's in each other's pockets?'
Fashion Babylon comes across as a bit of a tabloid with gossiping and cliché stories i.e models on drugs, but beneath the shallow stories there is some truth about how the Fashion industry works. Imogen Edward-Jones gives the public an insightful look into the very secretive fashion world, she writes about controversial issues like why big designers don't do large sizes.
'Firstly, it comes down to cost. Simply in material terms, it costs me twice as much to make a size 16 as it does to make the same garment in a size 8....Secondly there just isn't the demand for big designer clothes. Maybe it is a viscious circle : we don't make them large, therefore large girls feel too fat for fashion and aren't even tempted to go designer shopping. But all I know is that at the end of the season I am left with more 14's than any other size.'
As well as the jargon used in the industry, for instance the term 'Cabbage' is the leftover stock that goes missing and ends up in a market, buyers will think how good a replica the item is simply because it is the real thing.
The central character is a struggling designer, who has just received news that her last collection was a flop. The book is all about her trying to make a comeback by showing her next collection in New York. You want to like the character, especially as the you learn how cut-throat the industry is, however she is in on the game to, and rips off a vintage garment as her on. The novel is really fiction, in disguise as all her information is sourced from credible people in the industry, with names changed to protect identities. This makes the book a more interesting read, as you wonder who the characters really are and how much truth there is in the events that occurred.
If anyone is interested about how the Fashion industry really works you will no doubt enjoy the book. Edwards-Jones will enlighten anyone under the illusion that the business is all glamour, as she depicts the brutal reality.