Thursday 22 December 2011

Review: "The Beatles and Fashion: Fab Gear"

Paolo Hewitt
Prestel Books
ISBN 978-3-7913-4563-5

Here’s another slant on The Beatles influences.

240 pages, crammed with over 300 photographs detailing how The Beatles not only influenced people with their music, but also lead the way with their clothes and dress, as well as their hairstyles.

Starting with their Hamburg days there are many shots from Astrid Kirschherr, not just of The Beatles, but photographs of others in Hamburg from that period. It was in Hamburg that their famous mop top haircut was born, of course.

We move through to their Beatlemania period and then into the Pepper period, with many photographs which haven’t been published before, from stage shots, to dressing rooms, film sets, airports, inside hotels, it’s all in here.

Whilst there are a lot of photographs, the text is interesting reading too, with input from Beatle people Tony Bramwell (who worked for Brian Epstein) and Leslie Cavendish (The Beatles hairdresser who worked for them at Apple) amongst others.

Leslie Cavendish with his copy
of 'The Beatles and Fashion' at
Abbey Road
Other contributors include Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn, Spencer Leigh (BBC Radio Merseyside) and The Beatles Shop in Liverpool.

We read about how the boys loved clothes and how this was a very important part of their image. The Beatles had their own styles of suits in the early days, although John preferred the leather from the Hamburg period, but as we move into the Pepper period, John seems far more relaxed with his choice of clothing.

Many people tend to remember The Beatles for their music, and forget their influence on the world with their choice of clothes and hairstyles. This book aims and succeeds in detailing the influence the boys had on people with just about anything they said or did.

“This one is going to be up there with the best of the books about The Beatles”- Leslie Cavendish.

You know I think he could be right.

by Ernie Sutton

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