Every year without fail there are a number of fashion books on my Christmas wish list, I just love being able to delve into fashion over the festive period, I find it a great way to fire my imagination ahead of the new year. This Christmas I have selected six great fashion books that I think fellow fashionistas will love, as well as hinting to my husband what else I would like to see under the Christmas tree this year.
First up we have French illustrator, photographer and blogger Garance Dore’s first book, Love Style Life (£19.50), which is a behind-the-scenes look in the world of fashion, as well as her offering advice on developing your own personal style. What I adore about this book is how she mixes photography and illustrations, along with her honest and intimate thoughts on falling in love, finding a career that she enjoys, and her passion for fashion. If you love her blog, you will love this book.
I’m fascinated with the fashion industry and I love books that show me insight into those moments that aren’t always covered by the mainstream. I know that fashion show photography seems to be everywhere but Nilgin Yusuf’s Fashion’s Front Line: Fashion Show Photography from the Runway to Backstage (£25), chronicles three decades of catwalk shows in London, Paris, Milan and New York through the work of photographer Niall McInerney. As well as some great photography, the book also has insight from fashion insiders including designer Anthony Price, hairstylist Sam McKnight and PR and lifestyle guru Lynne Franks.
Ever wanted a private tour of the homes of some of the world’s great couturiers, stylists, muses and fashion personalities? Well, The Great Fashion Designers At Home (£45), shows you inside the homes of the most celebrated figures of fashion – Chanel, Alaïa, Blahník, Yves Saint Laurent, Pucci, Kenzo and Missoni. It will leave you lusting over their gorgeous interiors, especially the photographs of Chanel’s apartment at 31 rue Cambon.
One of my highlights each fashion week has to be the invites, I’m one of those people that collects every invite that I get, and I adore this beautiful compilation of fashion show invitations that the journalist and academic Iain R Webb has received over four decades in the industry in his book, Invitation Strictly Personal (£30). There are more than 300 fashion show invites, from all four fashion capitals, as well as contributions from his front-row contemporaries, including Colin McDowell.
If you are after a retrospective look at fashion you have to check out Aileen Ribeiro’s A Portrait of Fashion: Six Centuries of Dress at the National Portrait Gallery (£24.95), which takes a closer look at the clothing and costumes on show in the gallery’s extensive collections, illustrated throughout with paintings, drawings, and photographs. There is a focus on the purpose and original context of the dress in which the sitter was recorded wearing such as the damasks, satins, velvets and furs of Tudor and Stuart magnificence worn by Queen Elizabeth I and Charles I.
One of the most extravagant fashion books on my wish list has to be Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue (£100), which celebrates the work of legendary fashion stylist Grace Coddington during her first 30 years at Vogue UK and US. The book was first published in 2002 and features 408-pages of Grace’s work – it really is a book showcasing some of the greatest fashion editorials ever published in Vogue. It also includes personal anecdotes and insider stories of the stylist working with photographers Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn, Bruce Weber, Steven Meisel and Mario Testino and fashion-world personalities such as Naomi Campbell, Jerry Hall, Linda Evangelista and Manolo Blahnik.