Gods and Kings

Gods and Kings : The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano

3.99 (561 ratings by Goodreads)
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In Gods and Kings Dana Thomas, author of Deluxe, tells the story of how John Galliano and Alexander McQueen changed the face of fashion

In the first decade of the twenty-first century, the fashion world was dominated by two very different but equally successful and turbulent figures. But, within twelve months, Alexander McQueen had committed suicide, and John Galliano has professionally imploded. Who was to blame? And how was fashion changed by their rise and fall?

This is the story of Galliano and McQueen, the two working class British boys who shook fashion to its core. With their complicated and deeply seductive designs, they moved from the raucous art and club scene of London to the old-school heart of French couture. Dana Thomas, who witnessed their arrival in Paris and who interviewed more than one hundred people close to both designers, presents their lives in rich detail. Highlighting the similarities and differences in their temperament, charisma and style, she explores both their individual talent and the changing nature of fashion over the 80s, 90s and noughties. The result is a deeply engrossing, fast-paced and original read. Galliano and McQueen weren't simply driven and gifted: they wanted to revolutionize fashion in a way no one had in decades. And for a while, they succeeded.

Dana Thomas began her career writing for the Style section of the Washington Post and served as Newsweek's European culture and fashion correspondent for fifteen years. She has written for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, WSJ, Financial Times, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and was the European editor of Conde Nast Portfolio. She is a contributing editor for T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and is the author of The New York Times bestseller, Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Lustre. She lives in Paris.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 432 pages
  • 157 x 240 x 40mm | 771g
  • ALLEN LANE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1846146135
  • 9781846146138
  • 364,995

Review quote

A page-turning tale of fashion's highest flyers * i-D * Fascinating... a well-told story of poetry, art and angst * Tatler * A vivid, arresting account * Evening Standard * More than a delicious read * InStyle * Riveting... [Dana Thomas] is terrific at describing the shock value of their shows * Mail on Sunday * Thomas has spoken to more than 100 fashion insiders to put together a portrait of an era dominated, in her account, by these two uncontrollable and wild talents... Thomas's narrative flits deftly between the "parallel professional journeys" of two men with a similar rebellious streak * Telegraph * Conjures up the particular madness of the fashion treadmill, with its constant quest for newness and the inevitability that a triumph would be followed by a fall * New Statesman * Occasionally titillating and ultimately poignant * T, The New York Times Style Magazine * Those who have read Deluxe, Thomas's fashion-world expose, will know she tackles subjects many steer clear of. She's done it again with Gods and Kings, a dual biography of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano. Their rise is a romp to read but most fascinating is their fall * Monocle * A must read * Attitude * One of the most anticipated fashion reads of 2015 ... explores the complicated minds of the two designers. From their brilliant early collections and career highs to McQueen's tragic suicide and Galliano's public meltdown, Thomas pays equal heed to the darkness and the light of both men in this gripping story of fashion Icaruses who flew too close to the sun * San Francisco Chronicle * Gods and Kings is a spectacular work of reconstruction. Many passages conjure cinematic scenes of their lives and, more important, lush images of the designers' work and shows in the early and creatively fertile periods from which few photographs (let alone scarce sample garments) survive * Globe and Mail * Dana Thomas unspools the intertwined lives of McQueen and design contemporary John Galliano with the eye and precision of a historian. It is one of the year's most inspiring works of nonfiction * Gawker * A compelling drama about the high-stakes world of couture culture * Kirkus Reviews * Dana Thomas has written a real-life saga that is as engaging and compelling as a work of great fiction. By taking us inside the fascinating world of fashion, she gives us a startling tale of ambition, creativity, fame, and ultimately tragedy. This is a terrific book -- Jon Meacham, author of American Lion Comprehensive, detailed, coldly accurate yet extraordinarily sympathetic, Dana Thomas's Gods and Kings is a fascinating double biography of two dressmakers of genius. But it's also a riveting, definitive history of the three decades in which fashion devolved from a coddling cottage business to a cutthroat industry quite capable of killing its young. As commerce triumphs over art, you can only cringe, but you also have to admire Thomas's exhaustive account of what fashion folk would no doubt refer to as a moment that will never, and can never, be repeated -- Michael Gross, author of Model John Galliano and Alexander McQueen raised the bar creatively and theatrically with their high-impact fashion shows. In Gods and Kings, Paris based fashion writer Dana Thomas digs deep with the zeal of a historian, to chronicle the parallel dramas of the British fashion wunderkinds, whose careers ended tragically, way too soon -- Teri Agins, author of The End of Fashion
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About Dana Thomas

Dana Thomas has written for The New York Times magazine, the New Yorker, WSJ, the Financial Times, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and was the European editor of Conde Nast Portfolio. She is a contributing editor for T: The New York Times Style magazine, and the author of The New York Times bestseller, Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Lustre. She lives in Paris.
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Rating details

561 ratings
3.99 out of 5 stars
5 30% (169)
4 45% (250)
3 21% (116)
2 4% (20)
1 1% (6)
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