Invitation Strictly Personal: 40 Years of Fashion Invitations by Iain R. Webb

By Jo Phillips


Fashion month has kicked off, and along with countless shows and presentations come the release of countless fashion books. Iain Webb’s Invitation Strictly Personal: 40 Years of Fashion Show Invites is a gem to be treasured forever. This stunning book looks at an outstanding collection of more than 300 contemporary fashion show invitations that span four decades, giving us an exclusive and unique front row insight into the crazy industry that is fashion, and illustrates how the spectacle of the show is not limited to the runway. 176 VALENTINO Iconic moments from New York, London, Milan, and Paris fashion week that have been noted in fashion history have also been documented in this book. It is beyond fascinating to see the ways designers have interpreted their collection into invites. You’ll find the elegant, the whimsical, the political, the controversial, the creative and everything in between. Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 12.51.47 PM Not limited to invitations only, the book also offers an array of program notes, look books, posters, and promotional objects. Webb has carefully curated material from fashion houses such as Chanel, Alexander McQueen Valentino, John Galliano, and Comme Des Garçons. Anything you can imagine for invites, the designers have thought of. From credit cards to cassette tapes, lightbulbs to keychains, tote bags to makeup bags. Nothing is off limit. 047 VW Webb, who has guest edited one of .Cent’s past issues (check it out here:, is an award-winning writer and visiting professor at the Royal College of Art in London. He has also been the fashion director/editor of titles like BLITZ, Harpers & Queen, Elle, The Times, British Vogue, The New York Times, and The Independent to name a few. Webb has also published several books including As Seen in Blitz, Fashioning 80’s Style and Postcards, and From the Edge of the Catwalk. To read more of Webb’s work, check out his blog at: Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 12.51.42 PM

The Emporium, known for celebrating art and fashion installations will showcase in its boutique gallery space a collection of Webb’s own art works that includes framed appliqué and embroidery works that take inspiration from Webb’s front row notebooks. These personal, covetable pieces will be available for sale throughout the exhibition with prices starting at £300.Webb has also collaborated with Jigsaw to design a gorgeous Fashion Week T-shirt featuring the fashion capitals and Fashion Week dates, a canvas tote bag for all those Fashion Week must-haves, and a set of four pin badges that feature Webb’s punk-inspired font. To add to that, Webb has also curated the Emporium’s bookstore with the shelves housing a personal edit of his favorite books. Get your copy of Iain’s breathtaking book here:

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