“Terrifically exciting and fun” (Publishers Weekly), Champagne Supernovas is “a lucid, smoothly executed look at a pivotal decade in the legacy of American fashion” (Kirkus Reviews) as told through the lives of Kate Moss, Marc Jacobs, and Alexander McQueen—the three iconic personalities who defined the time.
Veteran pop culture journalist Maureen Callahan takes us back to the pivotal style moment of the early 1990s—when supermodel glamazons gave way to heroin chic, when the alternative became the mainstream, and when fashion suddenly became the cradle for the most exciting artistic and cultural innovations of the age. Champagne Supernovas gives you the inside scoop from a bevy of supermodels, stylists, editors, photographers, confidantes, club kids, and scenesters who were there. They’ll tell the unvarnished story of three of the most influential personalities to emerge in fashion in decades—Kate, Marc, and McQueen—and show why the conditions in the 1990s were perfect for their rise…but also helped contribute to their personal struggles.
Steeped in the creative brew of art, decadence, and genius that defined the era, Champagne Supernovas is a “titillating ride through the fashion world” (Elle) that offers readers front-row tickets to a gloriously debauched soap opera about the losers and freaks who became the industry’s It Girls and Boys…and who changed the larger culture forever.
Like the life of a partier, this book from Callahan (Poker Face: The Rise and Rise of Lady Gaga) starts out terrifically exciting and fun but then turns repetitive and ultimately depressing. True, Kate Moss is a cool girl with a great look, and Marc Jacobs is a cool guy with a great eye. And while no one would ever accuse Lee Alexander McQueen of being cool "He was self-conscious about his weight. He hated his face, and for the first few years of his career would only be photographed with his head wrapped in cling film or gaffer's tape" he was brilliant, at first. But then he too gets boring, repetitive, and very, very depressed. Ultimately, these three (along with Miuccia Prada and Consuelo Castiglioni, and others) do change the look of pop culture, from the glamazon to the waif, from hair metal to grunge, from Versace to Versus. In the meantime, they all consume loads of coke, heroin, and sex. Perhaps it's a testament to Kate Moss's ineffable style, but her chapters are the strongest, while Jacobs's battles with fashion's corporate overseers are the least interesting. The sections on the self-destructive McQueen simply feel ominous. Still, this book works as a fun, if cautionary, read about some of the folks who changed fashion in the 1990s. Readers will wonder when a similar trio will arrive to save us all from the Kardashians.