In high fashion there's often a disconnect between the world of the practical and that of "just because I can." Over-the-top or outlandish designs, often for the sake of the splash of the design itself, also find their way into the world of bookbinding. Sometimes this is deliberate and sometimes it's an honest effort to reflect the nature of the text that just spiraled out of control.
Rauner holds numerous examples of bindings that clearly reflect this decorative dominance and one of our first blogs was about our jewel-bound Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. Today's selections incorporate ivory, enamel, wallpaper, velvet, jewels, precious metals, hand-stitching and other materials and techniques intended to enhance the visual appeal of each book and make it stand out from the crowd. You be the judge of which designs qualify as high fashion for books. Do any of them actually reflect the nature of the text or enhance it?