*A Financial Times Book of the Year*
'The first time I opened What Artists Wear, I gasped with pleasure. Imagine it as a kind of punk cousin to John Berger's Ways of Seeing, liberally illustrated with the most astonishing images of artists, decked out in finery or rags ... It transported me to somewhere glamorous, exciting, even revolutionary' Olivia Laing, Guardian
Most of us live our lives in our clothes without realizing their power. But in the hands of artists, garments reveal themselves. They are pure tools of expression, storytelling, resistance and creativity: canvases on which to show who we really are.
In What Artists Wear, style luminary Charlie Porter takes us on an invigorating, eye-opening journey through the iconic outfits worn by artists, in the studio, on stage, at work, at home and at play. From Yves Klein's spotless tailoring to the kaleidoscopic costumes of Yayoi Kusama and Cindy Sherman; from Andy Warhol's signature denim to Charlotte Prodger's casualwear, Porter's roving eye picks out the magical, revealing details in the clothes he encounters, weaving together a new way of understanding artists, and of dressing ourselves.
Part love letter, part guide to chic, and featuring generous photographic spreads, What Artists Wear is both a manual and a manifesto, a radical, gleeful, inspiration to see the world anew-and find greater pleasure and possibility in the clothes we all wear.
A liberation and a joy, beautifully written and brilliantly thought. What Artists Wear is at once a revelatory account of how art is made and an electrifying investigation into the relationship between clothes and autonomy, freedom and power
Brilliant, loving, visually incisive
An insightful account ... whether offering visual analysis or social observation, Porter writes with clarity and wit
A fascinating exploration of the clothing worn by the rebels, rule breakers and outliers of the artistic world, and what it means to live in it ... The book defies convention ... Porter's curiosity is infectious
Eclectic, invigorating ... the chapters devoted to female artists make for the most fascinating reading, their clothes liberating them by giving them permission to be different
Unique, intelligent and enlightening, super interesting and so well researched. It is rare indeed to come across a book that not only captures the imagination, but informs and amuses at the same time. Each turn of the page is a surprising delight. Perhaps what is most striking about this book is its authenticity ... Charlie Porter's seriousness and genuineness, coupled with his off-kilter sense of humour, not forgetting his huge talent, seep through the entire production. Not a fake nor pompous note anywhere. This is simply the real article, just like Charlie.
A roving, intimate analysis of the clothes that inform art
Wonderful ... I read it in one delicious gulp. An important page-turner.