You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but when it’s decked with sparkly pink stilettos or the smile of a mid-aughts TV stylist, it seems like everyone else does. Fashion books are definitely pretty to look at, but they are also great to read.
We’ve compiled a list of our favorite fashion books, ranging from large coffee table books to cult monographs and cultural deep dives.
TOM FORD 002
Tom Ford’s opulent and imposing Tom Ford 002 is a companion piece to his post-Gucci career, which ended in a painful split in 2004. 444 pages chronicle the evolution of Ford’s namesake brand. Beyond the foreword, which was written by Anna Wintour, Ford regales the reader with his own thoughts about the last fifteen years or so. The book contains photographs by Inez & Vinoodh, Nick Knight, Steven Meisel, and Mert & Marcus.
Vivienne Westwood: The Complete Collections (Catwalk)
Vivienne Westwood: The Complete Collections, published by Alexander Fury of AnOther magazine, is a book from Thames & Hudson’s Catwalk series. The book is a retrospective of how Vivienne has developed a career probing at the edges of conformity over five decades in fashion. With biographies written by the designer and her life and creative partner Andreas Kronthaler, it is definitely worth the read.
The House Of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed
Fashion writer and author Sara Gay Forden revealed the story of murdered socialite Patrizia Reggiani and Gucci’s dark history in The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed. After spending two years writing the book, Forden says seeing the Ridley Scott film was an “emotional event,” despite the fact that the film only touches the surface of the book’s drama.
Louis Vuitton: L’audacieux
Louis Vuitton: L’audacieux, written by Caroline Bongrand and commissioned by Louis Vuitton to commemorate the design house’s 200th anniversary, is a fictionalized biography of the fashion house’s founder. The plot follows a young Louis as he leaves his family’s home and begins an apprenticeship in trunk-making in Paris.
What Artists Wear
In What Artists Wear, Charlie Porter delves into how our clothes take on meaning once they’ve left the runway — carrying the weight of our problems in strained knees and sweat patches through numerous wears and tears. Porter’s deep dive is a delicate report on the legacies we leave behind and the clothing that accompany us along the journey, as he cycles through the lives of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Sarah Lucas, Martine Syms, and Joseph Beuys.
Captivate! Fashion Photography from the ’90s
Captivate! Fashion Photography from the ’90s is a new book that chronicles the decade of the nineties. It comprises over 150 pictures and personal essays from fashion icons Carine Roitfeld, Anna Wintour, Edward Enninful, Grace Coddington, Donatella Versace, and Valentino Garavani, and is edited by Claudia Schiffer.
Versace: The Complete Collections (Catwalk)
Versace Catwalk: The Complete Collections, written and compiled by acclaimed fashion journalist Tim Blanks, delves into every offering the Italian fashion company has ever sent down the catwalk. The title links the narrative of the sibling designers through 1200 photos and intelligent discussion, from Gianni’s early ideas to Donatella’s famous wielding.
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Photo via Vivienne Westwood