Historically, fashion has an uncomfortable relationship with critique: mainstream media coverage by newspapers and magazines often shy away from rigour and analysis on fashion’s output of events and collections. This is a dynamic that is constantly repeated in its discourse. References to other cultural disciplines, namely art and literature, are used to legitimise the domain of fashion, and suggest that it’s an industry that fails to measure up to a similar level of intellectual rigour.
This month sees the second instalment of former French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld’s new biannual publication, CR Fashion Book. But what exactly is a ‘fashion book’? It’s a slightly heavy-handed concept, but one designed, it seems, to disassociate Roitfeld’s venture from the mere realm of the mass-produced, market-dictated, fashion magazine, exemplified by ex-employer Condé Nast’s multi-national, industry-defining platform.