As much as Instagram captions have their place in the world, there’s nothing like increasing your sartorial literacy through the real deal. Of course we mean reading. The thing that so many of us leave to the weekends and long lost holidays to attend to. I digress, there are many things we can learn about fashion through the internet, but getting lost in a book is an incomparable experience, especially when it comes to expanding your mind on the fashion legacies that have come for us. In honor of this enriching experience, we collect the best fashion books we’ve come across.
Grace, a memoir, Grace Coddington
One of the best-selling fashion books, Grace Coddington’s memoir traverses the life of the iconic Vogue creative director as a young model and later one of the most prolific faces in modern fashion history. Within the pages, Coddington transports the reader to her Welsh birthplace and through her infamous career with the kind of detail most people only reveal over tea.
A visible manEdward Enniful
As one of the strongest voices and most important change makers in fashion today, Edward Enniful’s moving memoir is one to pick up if you are interested in the current fashion landscape. From a childhood in Ghana to being discovered by a fashion editor on the London Underground at the age of sixteen, to taking the helm of Britain’s most influential fashion publication, A visible man follows a surprising journey into one of the most exclusive industries in the world. From 1980s London to the current times we are in, Enniful’s story of finding a home in fashion and shaping how he wanted it to look is one to inspire.
Gods and KingsDana Thomas
Dana Thomas tells the story of John Galliano and Alexander McQueen’s fashion revolution. In the mid-90s, McQueen and Galliano were signed up for the fashion jobs of a lifetime at Givenchy and Dior, and when international stardom followed, things fell apart for some of fashion’s brightest stars, resulting in McQueens tragic death and Galliano’s professional implosion. Gods and Kings sets out to tell the story of each designer, their rise and fall, and how they changed fashion forever.
I Love To Hate FashionLoïc Prigent
French journalist Loïc Prigent has been tweeting absurdist whispers from the fashion crowd for a few years now, and eventually every snarky critique and hilarious interaction has a place to be immortalized I Love To Hate Fashion. A collection of snarky statements about fashion mixed with absurdist poetry make up this 100 golden quote book.
The Chiffon Trench, André Leon Talley
A look behind the scenes of the fashion industry from one of fashion’s heavyweights, André Leon Tally. The Chiffon Trench harks back to Talley’s first magazine job with Andy Warhol at Interview after his fateful friendship with Karl Lagerfeld, who catapulted him into the closed world of Fashions upper echelons through his eye for detail and extensive knowledge of fashion. Over the years, Talley’s influence in fashion grew, and after his death earlier this year, he remains a pivotal figure in fashion history throughout the ages.
The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled into the Spotlight and Made History, Robin Gean
Conceived as a fundraiser for the restoration of King Louis XIV’s palace, in the late fall of 1973, five top American designers faced off against five top French designers in a top runway extravaganza. An audience full of celebrities and international jet-setters, including Princess Grace of Monaco, the Duchess of Windsor, Paloma Picasso and Andy Warhol, were treated to a lavish performance with Liza Minnelli, Josephine Baker and Rudolph Nureyev. What they saw would change the history of fashion forever.
The Beautiful Fall: Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, and Glorious Excess in 1970 Paris, Alicia Drake
In 1954, they were two young talents from the provinces, who both dreamed of Paris, glamor and glory. Yves Saint Laurent was the charming youth, the enfant fearsome heir to Dior’s couture crown. Karl Lagerfeld was the freelance designer with a talent for ready-to-wear. In 1968 Paris exploded as the city embraced liberation and hedonism and the era was ignited with possibilities.
“Each designer created his own enchanting world, attracting people to them attracted by their power, charisma and fame. Paloma Picasso, Pierre Berg and Jacques de Bascher all lived in the mirror of fashion. The tensions of class and nationality , bohemia and luxury, youth and longing, talent and ambition were subsumed in the creation of glamour. The two cliques could not help but become rivals. But as the 70s turned to the 80s, heroin and AIDS threw her shadow; fashion became an industry, money ruled and the beautiful people discovered the danger of living their dreams. The Beautiful Fall is Alicia Drake’s brilliant chronicle of this dangerous, brutal, fabulous time.”
Champagne Supernovas: Kate Moss, Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen, and the ’90s Renegades Who Reinvented Fashion, Maureen Callahan
Pop culture journalist Maureen Callahan takes us on a journey back to one of the most pivotal style moments in fashion history: the early ’90s. It was a time that turned the glamazon style of the 80s on its head with the perception of heroine chic. Alternative was in, and fashion became a melting pot for ideas and innovation. Champagne Supernovas is an amalgamation of stories from supermodels, stylists, editors, photographers, confidantes, club kids and scenesters who were there. “They will tell the unforgettable story of three of the most influential personalities to emerge in fashion in decades – Kate, Marc and McQueen – and show why the conditions in the 90s were perfect for their emergence. .. but also helped contribute to her personal struggle.”