As much as I adore the tactile qualities and the physicality of fashion, books were really my first love, which is why I have such a love for fashion books and all the fascinating images and knowledge therein. And as much as we have access to so many wonderful images at the click of a mouse these days, it will never replace the joy of looking at the printed version. So here is a list of fashion books that I hope will inspire me:
1. Madame Grès: Sphinx of Fashion by Patricia Mears
Madame Grès was one of the most mysterious designers of the 20th century, known for her distinctive Grecian-inspired gowns. I've always been fascinated and impressed with her incredible draping technique and I would love to learn more about her work and her life. I've heard wonderful things about this book-- I'm just sorry I missed the exhibition at the FIT Museum with the same title!
2. Tim Walker: Story Teller by Tim Walker
I've known the name Tim Walker for a while, but I never really paid attention to it until I was going through my editorial inspiration pins on Pinterest and realized just how many were his. That, of course, sent me on a complete internet exploration which made me into a true fan. And as much as I am glad the internet exists to show me so many images I wouldn't have otherwise found, photography is just so much better when it is printed. Which is why I need this book to look at from cover to cover.
3. Charles James: Beyond Fashion by Harold Koda
I really loved the detail in the Charles James exhibition at the Met a few years ago, so I am kicking myself for not buying this book at the time. James had such an unusual approach when it came to construction and draping that I would love to spend more time investigating his thought process and finding out all the nerdy details I might have missed on a casual glance.
4. Fashion at the Edge: Spectacle, Modernity, and Deathliness by Caroline Evans
This books is focused on the avant-garde designers of the 1990s and their penchant for the macabre-- a topic that I think sounds pretty fascinating. Evans discusses a lot of interesting designers (such as Vivienne Westwood, Hussein Chalayan and Alexander McQueen) and ties them into the philosophy and history of fashion. Sounds a little bit more cerebral than the typical fashion writing, which is all the better.
5. Masters of Fashion Illustration by David Downton
Fashion illustration is such an interesting art, I think, especially because it seems to be having a bit of a revival these days due to an overabundance of unmemorable photography. I really love seeing talented fashion illustrators work and it definitely inspires a different way of looking at fashion because they see things and portray moods in ways that photography never can. I definitely think this one could be educational.
Are there any fashion books you would recommend to add to my growing reading list?