Groundbreaking!: 100 Incredible Fashion Moments—and Why They Mattered

Image of Groundbreaking Fashion: 100 Iconic Moments
Release Date: 
April 3, 2017
Smith Street Books
Reviewed by: 

There are sins of omission as well as sins of commission within this book. Having reviewed hundreds of books at this point that all deal with fashion and style, it can be safely assumed that my frame of reference is broad and that my fashion knowledge is akin to a mental fashion library. Thus it is the opinion of this reviewer and relentless fashion follower that Jane Rocca has surely committed multiple fashion felonies by her roster of so called Groundbreaking Fashion moments. Take note this is inclusive of the listing of supposed icons, items of apparel, trends, and more if they are to be considered parts of an all-encompassing spectrum of these so-called moments.

Anyone who follows fashion, in any of its facets, would agree that the visual is as important as is the construction and inherent design of any part of the fashion vocabulary. The question that pops up is why does one produce a book like this with subpar cartoonish illustrations and the omissions of some of the greatest fashion icons and moments of the past and present centuries?

Here is a short list of “details” and people who seemed not to have been deemed “groundbreaking:” Vreeland, Bill Travilla, Vivier, Mellen, Babe and her gang, Balenciaga, Mugler, Montana, Gernreich, Karan, and a never ending litany of possible candidates who are not all overplayed. Granted, assembling a book such as this is a difficult task as the author no doubt wants to set herself apart from previous publications of the genre, but at what cost? The written word is as ubiquitous as taxies on a NYC street so why not give the words some actual gravitas?

A book of this caliber does no one any good except for the author, possibly, as it is relatively nothing more than irrelevant and joins the ranks of similar tomes. It is possible that the book will appeal to the less informed or maybe least informed of fashion readers, but it might also be a bit of a misinformed selection of these theoretical Groundbreaking Fashion moments that will lead a reader to believe them all as gospel.

As is said at the site of a train wreck to those who feel compelled to look—nothing to see here. Always consider the source.