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Fashion Babylon

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  1,164 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews

What is fashion? What is fashionable? Who decides what's in and what's out? Why is it green one year and blue the next? Why is one little black dress worth five thousand dollars and another worth fifty? Is the catwalk really that catty? What makes a supermodel so super?

And a designer too hot to touch? Who is making money? Who owns whom? Who hates whom? And who's in each

Hardcover, 336 pages
Published February 6th 2007 by Atria (first published July 4th 2006)
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Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
This definitely reads as your trashy beach book. That is what makes it fun. But it also provides real insight into how the fashion industry actually works. Fashion is a cutthroat industry and not for the faint of heart, and this does a good job illustrating all of it. You'll find it all here - drugs, sex, booze, laxatives, celebrity gossip, and he reality that our trends are more dominated by financial backings by major players and who wears what than actual talent. Hypocrisy is also shown throu ...more
Mel Campbell
I justified this trashy tale by saying to myself, "It's relevant to your research!" But basically I just really enjoyed hearing the gossipy tidbits passed on to Imogen Edwards-Jones by loads of anonymous fashion-industry insiders.

Having never read any of her 'Babylon' series before, I was surprised to find that Edwards-Jones weaves the gossip into a fictional narrative of a year in the life of a small independent British fashion label. I found myself rooting for them to succeed and eagerly follo
Oct 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Both fiction and non-fiction, this is a brutally honest look at the British fashion industry. Edwards-Jones mashes together countless interviews and anecdotes from real fashion industry insiders to create a fictional designer (who is never actually given a name) and throw a spotlight on six months of her life, from a collection's inception to its time in the tents at New York Fashion Week. It's both hilarious and cringe-worthy, and amazing because it's all true. I've always been fascinated with ...more
Feb 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fashionistas, anyone who enjoys juicy gossip and/or the glamorous lifestyle of the rich and famous!
This is not exactly what I was looking for or expected. But I ended up enjoying it anyway. It reads like a piece of fiction, filled with celebrity gossip! According to the author, the only piece of fiction is the main character, the designer. The author claims all anecdotes are true, as told by people in the industry. I am not sure how accurate that is, although I can believe it (Isn’t gossip just rumors? But aren’t rumors started with some truth???). The book follows an up-and-coming, young, in ...more
Sian Cancea
Sep 15, 2013 rated it liked it
A decent trashy read. Interesting to read six years after publication as everything that was on trend, current and relevant in 2006 seems so outdated!
Icha Rahmanti
Jul 19, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fashionista
Fashion Babylon
by Imogen Edwards-Jones

I love this book.
Surely give me total and insight scoop of the wickedness of the fashion industry. The author admitted in her prologue that everything in the story was true. The “Anonymous” in the story were a bunch of grapevines in the industry who told her all the juicy gossips. The “I” –the female designer character—was however fiction. But again she assured that all the following stories were true, only some identities had been changed to protect the gui
Jul 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-stories
Really fascinating read and insight into the fashion industry, glad I'm a magazine designer and not a fashion designer, far too much pressure!! Some funny moments throughout and are models really that dippy?

The passage that stick in my mind is this one which is a theory of one of the characters - "The year you become famous is the year you stop growing as a person. Like, Michael Jackson became famous at five. He wants to play children's games, hang out with kids, build a fun fair in his backyar
Feb 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I loved this book, not due to any of the reasons it was touted for, as being an insiders look at all the dirt and gossip, but because it's a really detailed and interesting look at the business of fashion. The complications of creating, developing and presenting a new look from start to finish. The difficulties of staying fashionable in a world where trends dissolve almost from the moment they're created. The demands and difficulties of the industry are outlined in detail. It's a surprisingly un ...more
Audrey V
Aug 21, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fashionistas
It was insightful...but I could put it a good read. (medium)
Mar 28, 2007 rated it did not like it
So badly written! I thought this book would be a fun, trashy read, if only for the fashion gossip, but it was a big disappointment.
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fashion
Fiction novel that provides a look inside the “glamorous” life of a fashion designer over the course of one season. I was hit with all the degradation, grittiness and unpleasantness that surrounds the fashion industry... sex, drugs, swearing, and alcohol abuse are all on full display. Lots of rumors rehashed, so everyone appears damaged in some way. Models especially are treated like cattle, but everyone is really being used by someone else.

That said, it was interesting to see the ins & outs
For my full review please visit my blog: Material Girl review @ From the Shadows I Review

I found this book to be strangely addictive. No matter how much I wanted to I just couldn't put the book down, I was afraid that my mum was going to have to prise it from my cold, sleeping self. I'm not sure I believe the stories even though it says that they are based on truth but it was interesting to see what a designer has to do in the run up to showing off their collection. I felt that the overall sta
May 01, 2010 rated it liked it
I haven't read fiction for a while and this is kind of non-fiction wrapped in fiction. Since I am going into the high-end retail line soon (albeit as an IT person), I thought I better start reading a little to understand about the business. I always think you have to know those people better to understand their context and their user requirements!

Every reviewer seems to say the book is stating the truth which then makes it a fairly decent book for a guy who's not that into fashion. We all know a
Mar 13, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobooks
Fashion Babylon is one of those books where you go into it thinking that it's a documentary, but it reads like a scandalous tell-all. It's supposed to be a story of an up and coming fashion designer who has to work in the trials and tribulations of the industry. The events are said to be true, but the fashion designer herself is fictionalized.

I'll say it straight out - I didn't like the diction of the work, after finishing the book in its entirety. For the first several chapters, I could handle
Hoga Williams
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. I read Air Babylon first many years ago and loved it. I was in the airline industry and although it is very tongue-in-cheek, I can imagine that both books are very close to reality as one can get in fiction.
I am a qualified fashion designer but never made a collection but I know that this is part of the industry as I experienced in my student years. I loved loved loved the book! It is quick with clear characters that you can identify with (real people in a fiction
Debra Komar
Jul 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
This is a very odd book with a very misleading cover. Everything about the book's presentation suggests it is non-fiction - the photographic cover, the subtitle, the Candace Bushnell blurb. Even the addition of the co-author Anonymous suggests a tell-all. But it is not. It s a fictionalized story of a fictional designer who doesn't do much but sit around expounding on gossip the author has clearly picked up from others. The narrative frequently grinds to a halt so that Edwards-Jones can give a l ...more
I don't understand quite a bit of the fashion world talk. What is a "ligger" and what is "jazz" that isn't music? "As in "One or two of the liggers and nobodies in that crowd are jazz mad - and I don't mean the music." The book is crowded with mysteries like that, I'm in an unfamiliar world and wishing that a glossary had been included.
The world of fashion seems to be so base. Sometimes this book makes me laugh, but mostly I feel ashamed to be supporting this industry by wearing clothes,carryi
Amy Formanski Duffy
Jan 14, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: no one really!
I got the impression that this was meant to be an expose on the fashion industry but the author spun it into fiction to avoid lawsuits. The characters weren't developed very much and the same cliches repeated over and over again. Models don't mind being naked in front of people. Everyone snorts coke all the time, even in the morning. Kate Moss did something wacky, but it's probably just a rumor. Blah. I thought the writing was sloppy. She gave a few lines of dialogue followed by a long-winded ex ...more
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't find this as enjoyable to read as Air Babylon, and I guess that is due to the fact that I don't have a strong interest or experience with the fashion industry. In this book, you get a mixture of what you would expect (drugs, alcohol, sex, eating disorders and back biting) and a few insights into the industry and what it is like to be a fashion designer. There are juicy stories about models, stylists, photographers, hair and make up artists, celebrities, etc. All in all a trashy read, an ...more
Mar 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
This book is actually a friend's and I've been reading it every time I've come to stay and finally I've finished it.

It wasn't well written but it was extremely entertaining. Very trashy, easy to read, gossipy, mindnumbing... quite excellent in fact.

It's an insiders look into the coke fuelled, knickerless world of fashion design. Needless to say it is a world away from the fashion industry I'm looking at in my thesis...

Will I ever read another 'Babylon' probably not. Would I recommend anyone buy
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
On holiday, I love to switch my brain off and indulge in a trashy read, and Fashion Babylon ticked all the right boxes. It reads like a car crash between a newspaper gossip column and the fashion bits from Cosmo - you know you should be reading something more intelligent but you can't help yourself! Fashion Babylon is a loosely fictitious account of the fashion industry, with lots of sex, drugs and more flashy designer labels than Paris Hilton's wardrobe. Ridiculously good in the worst kind of w ...more
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
I like the book but it wasn't as funny as Hotel Babylon.
A backstage view in a small british fashion house where not so famous fashion designer and her co-workers share all the (shiny) secrets of fashion industry.
Pohled do zákulisí módní tvorby u nepříliš známé britské návrhářky. Jakožto módní amatérka jsem byla docela překvapená, jak to v módní branži chodí (jestli to tak opravdu chodí...) Knížka mě docela bavila, i když nebyla tak vtipná jako Hot
Feb 21, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this book as much as Hotel and Air Babylon - an eye-opener of the fashion world.

Back Cover Blurb:
Following in the glamorous footsteps of Hotel Babylon and Air Babylon, Fashion Babylon gets under the skin of the fashion idustry. Taking you through six months in a designer's life, it explains how a collection is put together - from the rail of found objects to the catwalk, into the shops and, hopefully, the cover of a magazine. It explains who goes to the shows, where they sit and whose ba
Feb 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fashionistas
It's a fun book told from the perspective of a upcoming fictional female British designer. The author claims to have interviewed many people in the real world of fashion to incorporate some of their experiences in the story. There is a lot of name dropping of real designers, fashion editors, and models. You hear about the tricks of the trade and some of the hilarious and sleezy things that go on behind fashion shows. Recommended if you are curious about the fashion world of just love designer cl ...more
Mar 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
a friend of mine in school told me about this book and how fascinating she found all that went on behind the scene in the fashion world. and since i am studying fashion i checked it out and after reading blindness i wanted something easy to read , and this book is all that , its a good read, its nothing deep but it gives you such an amazing glimpse into the fashion world and it gives you quite a bit of info on how things work if you are interested in working in fashion in anyway , i thoroughly e ...more
Jenny L
Oct 08, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-books
Not a patch on Hotel Babylon, or Air Babylon, but a good read nonetheless. It gives you a good insight to the fashion industry, most of which is as you would imagine. The other two I have read in the series are really laugh out loud funny and shocking. Fashion Babylon seems somehow tamer. It also takes place over six months, whereas the fun of the other two is that it is over a twenty-four hour period. I would recommend Hotel Babylon as the best I've read from Imogen Edwards-Jones
Paula de Santana
Dec 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Super funny and with an interesting insight into the Fashion Industry, Fashion Babylon tells of all the troubles and tribulations of launching a new collection. Outrageous and fun, Edward-Jones uses her journalist skills to bring the story to life in a very entertaining and engaging way. The characters are well developed and I could not fault the plot.

This is a must for any fashion lover, but I'm not sure you will look at fashion in the same way so be warned!!!
Feb 27, 2009 rated it liked it
This book is sort of trash, but if you're interested in the ins and outs of the fashion industry, it's a passable read. The story of the budding, struggling fashion designer is revealing - it's not unlike being a singer! The book made me feel bad about all the basement bargains I find at Loehmann's....
Margo Candela
So very dishy! Lots of insider gossip punch up a fast moving story. This was a fun read to sneak in while prepping and recovering from a Christmas. I look forward to reading the authors other books and almost don't mind that I'll have to work to find some of them as they aren't in print in the US. But when I do find them, I know they'll be perfect for a long weekend or vacation read.
Mar 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fashion business newbies; FashionDesign school pupils/fresh grads
If you're looking for a chick-lit, then prepare to be disappointed. However, if you want some fashion business scoop written in an explicit description, then go for this book!

This book is recommended for:
those who are interested in the fashion business; fashion-design school students & fresh grads; fashion-industry newbies
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