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John Galliano and Alexander McQueen: two of fashion’s most brilliant figures. And arguably, two of the most tragic.

Together, they’re the subjects of fashion writer Dana Thomas’s new book, Gods and Kings, a detailed and discerning look at the forces that shaped them, and those that brought them down.

The legendary designers both came to prominence twenty years ago, simultaneously revolutionizing luxury fashion with their daring, visionary looks. And just as they exploded onto the scene, they left it: McQueen to suicide in 2010, and Galliano, a year later, to public disgrace and controversy.

The subject isn’t exactly original--plenty has been written about both of these guys already. But Thomas knows her stuff (her first book, Deluxe, is a social history of the luxury fashion industry), and she writes with passion, drama, and a surprising amount of empathy for these deeply flawed, extraordinary men.

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