To understand this report properly we must first refer to fashion designer Martin Margiela, who once told one of the panel members that to him a comfortable jacket was the least interesting of all garments. A good jacket has to enter into a relationship with its wearer and to achieve that it is permitted to be a tiny bit too tight (or too large). And that’s something we can also say of this book. We have no complaints about its legibility, the cartography is exemplary and the superb cover, which has been treated to nicely deep, matt black foil printing, is intriguing. The solutions that have been found in marshalling this massive quantity of information have been well chosen. However, the margins are all too often sought out by such as the space-hungry captions to the photos. And throughout the book – as with its subject – there is a constant battle for the space available. On the other hand, because we can see that this is not a matter of incompetence but probably a form of pig-headedness, on reflection it makes the whole thing really quite exciting.
There are some niggles, however. The binding is just a little too mechanical, so that the hard inlay causes a deep hinge. This could have been avoided by using a thinner back board – a pity, because now the book refuses to lie open nicely. Here too, then, this is more a case of sharply tailored Italian than English made-to-measure.