A comprehensive biography of the late designer, Karl Lagerfeld, and his infamous rivalry with Yves Saint Laurent.
"Deliciously dramatic... The Beautiful Fall crackles with excitement."-New York Times Book Review
In the 1970s, fashion exploded like a champagne bottle left out in the sun. Amid sequins and longing, celebrities and aspirants flocked to the heart of chic, and became a hothouse of revelry, intrigue, and searing ambition. At the center of it all were fashion's most beloved luminaries - Yves Saint Laurent, the reclusive enfant terrible, and Karl Lagerfeld, the flamboyant freelancer with a talent for reinvention - and they divided into two fabulous halves. Their enduring rivalry is chronicled in this dazzling exposé of an era: of social ambitions, shared obsessions, and the mesmerizing quest for beauty.
"Fascinating." - Times
"Addictive." - Inquirer
"It's like US Weekly, 1970s style." -
"A story constructed as exquisitely as a couture dress. . . . It moves stylishly forward, with frequent over-the-shoulder glances at some very dishy background." - Globe
This smart book stitches together the lives, loves, personalities and obsessions of two iconic designers, Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld, into a work as finely detailed as any outfit they ever sent down a runway. Through interviews with dozens of the designers' friends and colleagues, fashion journalist Drake offers revealing inside anecdotes and perspectives from those who were there for the Paris "fashion revolution." Drake interprets the rarefied and decadent 1970s French fashion scene Saint Laurent and Lagerfeld helped create with insight and vigor, as well as germane commentary on the collections and the trends they set. A period when couture was faltering and ready-to-wear rising, Drake crafts clear yin and yang portraits of the introverted, passive and magnetic Saint Laurent, and the exhibitionistic Lagerfeld, known for wearing high heels, sporting monocles or wielding a fan. With a large entourage of colorful supporting characters-from fashion muses like Loulou de la Falaise to socialites like Talitha Getty-and exotic locales-from Paris to Marrakech to the Blenheim Palace and back-the story of the competing and capricious fashionistos becomes the account of one glittering party after the next, interrupted occasionally by fashion shows, and sprinkled with celebrities such as Mick Jagger and Andy Warhol. The two tastemakers' homosexuality is dealt with frankly and the storied roots of their aesthetic senses and public personas is nicely detailed. De rigeur for the fashion crowd and those interested in the pop or gay culture of the era.