18 October 2012

Book Review

 Have you seen the new Vogue coffee table book,
Vogue Knitting: Classic Patterns from the World's Most Celebrated Knitting Magazine ? For their anniversary they've compiled a sort of greatest hits from the last thirty years into a beautifully bound, full colour, large volume. It was sitting in the window of a local book shop so I popped in and had a look.
I confess to being disappointed. Other than three pages on the history of the magazine, there is nothing new here to inspire me to put down my fifty dollars.
Do you recognize the above shot? It's a stunning fashion shot of a timeless sweater from the Fall 1989 issue (Thank you Debi for selling your copy to me.) It is included in the book.  I don't dispute their choices of pieces. In fact, it is a spot-on cross section of the best garments from various years (Calvin Klein bubble anyone?) Yet it falls flat because there's no re-interpretation. They don't just publish the same photographs from the original issues but photos of the photos from the magazine. I get what they were going for - a chronicle of a knitting publication. Still I think, as a vision, it lands short. For those of us who have been following Vogue Knitting for some time and own many of the original issues, it doesn't excite. I wanted to see new pictures of some these patterns re-knit in today's yarns with new and daring colours accompanied by some written text about the impact of the design and why it is representative and relevant. More work? Yes. But that would have been a book I'd have paid for.

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