Must-have fashion books for 9 kinds of people
New York Fashion Week is in full swing, and so is PPFW. I promised you earlier that fashion is for everyone, and here I am to prove it. Below are nine books for every woman — a way into fashion for the traveler, designer, photographer, writer, illustrator and beyond.
For your best girl friend, who tells it like it is — and for the illustrator
Love x Style x Life by Garance Doré
Doré is queen of the blog world, with her beautiful illustrations, style and self-deprecating humor. She is also the author of my favorite book — part autobiography, part beauty and fashion insight, Love x Style x Life is a charming and funny guide to grace and taking chances on life.
For the believer in love at first sight
The Sartorialist by Scott Schuman
Scott Schuman is street fashion extraordinaire, and former lover to aforementioned Garance Doré. Follow his blog during Fashion Week for peeks into the lives of the ultra-fabulous, or peruse one of his many books for photos of the stylish strangers. His photos are so beautiful, they speak for themselves without need for much text. Perhaps even better, they are often of ordinary citizens (AKA not models!) on the street like you and me.
For the reality TV lover (Project Runway, anyone?)
The Little Black Book of Style by Nina Garcia
For every Project Runway fan out there, Nina Garcia brings you a tale of her insight on style and her journey through fashion. A can’t miss for the budding fashion designer, or the reality TV fan.
For the budding designer
The Little Dictionary of Fashion by Christian Dior
Known as the holy book of all fashion, and the designer of all designers. Christian Dior’s oldie but goodie is the ultimate choice for every budding designer, and the style historian.
For the writer
Women in Clothes by Sheila Heti
You may remember this choice from when we paired it with strawberry-blackberry turnovers. In her book, Sheila Heti features more than 225 contributors from every generation. including Lena Dunham, Tavi Gevinson, and Molly Ringwald. They're famous, anonymous, religious, secular, married, single, young and old. It's an ode to the subject of clothing, and how the garments we put on every day define and shape our lives. Written in poems, interviews and journal entries, this is a book to be savored as a whole, or carefully in pieces.
For the world traveler
Culture to Catwalk: How World Cultures Influence Fashion by Kristin Knox
For the socially- and globally-conscious, Kristin Knox takes a look at both traditional clothing and street styles from 38 countries around the world. Through them, she explores the influence these two different kinds of dress have on fashion and designers today. Going back to the traditional garments that inspired the likes of Coco Chanel and Christian Dior, Knox looks back at the roots of the fashion industry, the backlash against consumerism, and the effects of globalization and fast-fashion.
For the history buff
Fashion (Oxford History of Art) by Christopher Breward
Following 150 years of fashion, Christopher Breward offers a view of the fashion universe, describing its trends, products and inhabitants. He delves into haute couture and developing fabric technology, as well as iconic figures like Coco Chanel, Giorgio Armani and Alexander McQueen. Breward examines the industry as a voice to the larger cultural phenomenon fashion has become, and even captures the glamorous world of Vogue and advertising, the relationship between fashion and film and fashion as a business. Perhaps most importantly, he considers fashion too in the context of the individual.
For the celebrity fangirl
Kate Moss by Mario Testino
Perhaps as iconic as the designers themselves, Kate Moss is a true symbol of the fashion world. Likewise, so is Mario Testino, the man behind the lens of this photo book. Together, the duo represent an era of fashion that’s still sending ripples through the fashion world. A must have for every model fangirl.
For the photographer
Avedon Fashion 1944-2000 by Richard Avedon
Last, but not least! My favorite photographer: Richard Avedon. You’re sure to know many of his iconic images. His obituary in the New York Times said "his fashion and portrait photographs helped define America's image of style, beauty and culture for the last half-century.” As a young photographer, I admired him from the get-go.
I’ll leave you with my favorite quote from him: "Sometimes I think all my pictures are just pictures of me... My concern is the human predicament, but what I consider to be the human predicament may simply be my own."