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Claude Montana: Fashion Radical

A retrospective book sheds new light on one of fashion's most pivotal '80s designers

by Victor Reznik in Style on 02 March 2011

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Although regrettably most famous for bankrupting Lanvin (costing them a reported $50 million), a new book delves into why Claude Montana was one of the most sought-after fashion designers that defined the '80s and continues to be an underlying force behind today's styles. "Claude Montana: Fashion Radical," co-authored with fashion journalist Marielle Cro, gives a retrospective look at the French designer's aggressive tailoring, dramatic silhouettes and bold use of color.

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Montana was awarded two Golden Thimble Awards during his time at Lanvin, producing groundbreaking collections season after season. A consummate artist, Montana's incredible sketches are sprinkled throughout the book and are complimented by equally compelling photos. The visual narrative shows how each ensemble was like an entire work of art, clearly conceived down to every detail.

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Beginning by defining the "Montana Woman," which he sees as "a traveller, an adventuress in some faraway place," the book includes a self-exploration of his work in an art-house critique, taking the reader into his mind and showing Montana's articulate design language. Throughout the book his growth as a designer reveals itself in what amounts to an intimate portrait of not just the man, but the legacy of high fashion in one of the most fashion-obsessed decades of the 20th century.

"Claude Montana: Fashion Radical" is available through Amazon as a pre-order and releases nationwide 1 April 2010.

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