“A wonderful, weighty coffee-table book entitled Nautical Chic, by the go-to fashion historian Amber Jane Butchart” – Libby Purves
“New nautical style bible” – The Guardian
Nautical Chic (Thames & Hudson 2015) is the first ever book to track the influence of our seafaring past on the clothing that we love. Nautical Chic traces the relationship between maritime dress and the fashionable wardrobe through 5 chapters each focussing on a different profession: the Officer, Sailor, Fisherman, Sportsman and Pirate. The book weaves together politics, imperialism, war, leisure, trade, sport and seafaring adventure to tell the stories of garments – the duffle coat, the yellow fisherman’s macintosh, the yacht club blazer – loaded with historical and cultural significance, and the designers influenced by these styles, from Coco Chanel to Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Malcolm McLaren & Vivienne Westwood.
With evocative imagery of life on the ocean waves, Nautical Chic is the definitive history of high style on the high seas. On its publication it was featured across the style press from Grazia and the editor’s pick in Glamour, to The Guardian, The Telegraph’s Stella magazine, The Debrief and The Daily Beast. CNN ran a feature on the timeless appeal of nautical design, and it was given a glowing review by Libby Purves in Yachting Monthly. It garnered international coverage from China’s Modern Weekly to Vogue Netherlands, and was chosen as one of the best style books for spring by Canada’s national paper, the Globe and Mail. Based on her research, Amber was asked to discuss stripes and the sea on the app to accompany the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at the Barbican. She was also interviewed about Breton stripes for the Woman’s Hour fashion special, and recorded a feature on the perennial appeal of nautical style for You & Yours, both on BBC Radio 4.
Nautical Chic was also the subject of an exhibition at the Fashion & Textile Museum in London, in conjunction with their ‘Riviera Style’ show running from May – August 2015. The display featured spreads from the book as well as garments and ephemera curated by the author to illustrate the timeless appeal of maritime style.