Photo by Pierre Baroni
Tell us about your new book? “Ground-Breaking Fashion” is a new direction from your cocktail series. How did you come up with the concept? How difficult was it to ‘narrow’ it down to 100?
My latest book Groundbreaking plots 100 iconic fashion moments in history. The focus was to capture 100 defining moments from the late 1800s to now – with a strong emphasis on cultural icons that informed fashion – from Deborah Harry to Audrey Hepburn, designers like Jean Paul Gaultier and Christian Dior to the invention of fashion staples like the stiletto shoe to the 1950s bullet bra.
The book is a departure from my cocktail books, but after writing three of them it was time to explore new territory. Writing about fashion’s iconic moments was close to my heart – I have always loved fashion. There is a lack of books that capture the breadth of key moments like this in digestible form– from the 18th century to now. I think the book is like a modern guide, but hardly an A to Z – it’s not trying to be high brow, it’s informative and can be enjoyed by those who know not much about fashion to those who consider themselves experts. I wanted the book to be informative, fun and become a go-to for those wanting easy information on fashion history and how those looks came to be.
Nailing 100 was easier than I thought – but I had to leave some out. I guess the key point of difference was that each moment had to be iconic, a cultural phenomenon of its times and shape fashion as we know it today. From Suzi Quatro’s leather look to Deborah Harry in the Atomic video clip, each reference played a role in influencing style and how women embraced certain looks as their own.
How closely did you work with your illustrator, Juliet Sulejami?
Juliet was briefed to create the illustrations capturing each of my fashion moments. It was great to see her take on my brief – I really like the way she approached classic looks through a modern posturing and she brought a whimsical side to the fashion text.
When did your love of fashion begin? Any particular designer?
I’d have to say my love of fashion began back with my own parents who work in menswear. My father still wears a luxury suit every day – Italian yarns, European cuts and ever so stylish. My mother is also a big fashion lover and she’s got a good eye for style and detail. She also loves to shop and I figure I got that fashion knack from my parents. They grew up in Australia in the 60s and it informed their own cool style mixed with a dash of Italian know-how.
Some of my favourite designers are Sonia Rykiel, Charlotte Olympia and Vivienne Westwood. I also like to shop for vintage pieces when in Rome and Florence.
Who would you like to design an outfit for you?
What a fun question – I’d have to say Jean Paul Gaultier.
What, or who, inspires you?
I’m inspired by many things – from the vinyl music I listen to [currently The Wipers/L7/Ike and Tina Turner – yes diversity is the key] to the books I read [currently Elena Ferrante] to the magazines I flick through and the people I interview for work [most recently Karen Elson and Jane Birkin].
What’s next for you?
Heading to Italy in June to cover men’s fashion at Pitti Uomo.
What’s your scene?
Rock’n’roll is where my heart belongs.
Groundbreaking Fashion: 100 iconic moments By Jane Rocca
Illustrations by Juliet Sulejmani
Featuring punk icons, pop stars and fashion trail blazers, Groundbreaking Fashion reveals the most iconic looks and fashion game-changers for the past century
The modern history of fashion has always had significant turning points that altered everything that came afterwards – from the first outing of Chanel’s little black dress and the scandal of the first mini-skirt to Alexander McQueen’s armadillo shoes and Jean Paul Gaultier’s cone bra for Madonna. This book honours and celebrates these groundbreaking fashion moments.
Each of the 100 fashion turning points is illustrated and put into its historical context – how and why it was ahead of the curve. The emphasis is on the designer who created it, the celebrity or personality who wore it and why it was groundbreaking in terms of the social and cultural shift it created.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jane Rocca has been a fashion and music journalist for the past 21 years. She writes regularly for popular Australian magazines and newspapers including: Harper’s Bazaar, Rolling Stone, HQ and The Age. In the US, her work has appeared in Women’s Wear Daily and Flare. In the UK she writes for the The Face and i-D.
Her previous books include The Cocktail, Cocktails and Rock Tales and The Fashionable Cocktail.
Follow Jane at @JBirdRocker
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR
Juliet Sulejmani is a Melbourne based illustrator and fashion designer. She’s the founder and editor of The Juliet Report, a platform that aims to inspire and enlighten its readers. Aside from her obvious love of art, Juliet is a coffee loving, donut eating, burger obsessed flaneuse. See her work at: thejulietreport.com
For more information, go here