Image of Castelbajac
Release Date: 
October 14, 2016
Reviewed by: 

Castelbajac, the book, and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, the designer, stand as reminders to those in fashion that this man was indeed a visionary in his prescient approach to fashion. The harshest wound of all is that he is rarely given or afforded the credit he is due within fashion history; consider this a case of selective memory on the part of the fashion world and its inhabitants.

You can see the influences taken or given of the Japanese designers, the influences of the Italians, and the designer’s modus operandi that is oddly akin to one of our greatest, Yves Saint Laurent. J-C de C did a version of vetements some 45 years ago and he “outsproused” Sprouse when Stephen was still in diapers. In other words, this designer led the pack, and the short memories in fashion pay him no homage. So in this book he does it himself. BRAVO!

Castelbajac is a celebration of one of fashion’s greatest talents.  He unwittingly lays bare the designers who have freely stolen his original and groundbreaking designs and concepts, claiming them as their own. In order to fully understand that J-C de C has fueled the likes of those Russians, Galliano, Moschino (both old  and new) Raf, Nicolas, Jeremy, and many more, well, you will have to read this book and only then can you fully grasp this man’s enduring vast contributions to fashion.

The content of the book, while overwhelmingly visual, is chock a block with wonderful interviews with the designer as well as interviews conducted by the designer, which are witty and self-deprecatingly endearing.

If you are wondering whether or not you must own this book, here are the reasons why you should: The book is meticulously documented in chronological order; the physical aspects of the book are nothing short of superb; the book stimulates both visually and intellectually without being the slightest bit pretentious; and lastly, if you take fashion seriously, you need to see for yourself that everything “old” is, in fact, new again but you get to “hear” it from the horse’s mouth.