Woman as Design: Before Behind Between Above Below by Stephen Bayley - review by Frances Wilson

Frances Wilson

Licence For Roving Hands

Woman as Design: Before Behind Between Above Below


Conran Octopus 336pp £50

This is a coffee-table book for one of those coffee tables designed by the Sixties pop artist Allen Jones, in which a full-size prosthetic female on all fours, kitted out in a leather fetish kit consisting of a black corset, yellow hot pants, black lace-up boots and long black gloves, her pendulous breasts exposed and dangling, sports a sheet of glass along her back. A double-page spread of the image can be found on pages 30–31 of Woman as Design, Stephen Bayley’s excursion into the wonders of tits and arse from Aphrodite to Pamela Anderson.

God created woman, and man helped him along a bit. The female body, argues Bayley – writer, columnist, and design guru – is a masterpiece of design, ‘an eternal natural classic as well as an inexhaustible sourcebook of inspirational form and detail’. The idea for bringing out a

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