10 Books EVERY Fashion Girl Should Read
Wondering what to add to your reading list this season? We’ve got the perfect books for you. Want to add heft to your desk situation by showcasing your love for fashion? These bold and beautiful tomes will do the trick. Flip through our reading list of new and old fashion books that every self-respecting fashionista should own.
1. Gods And Kings: The Rise And Fall Of Alexander McQueen And John Galliano
By Dana Thomas
In this groundbreaking book, veteran journalist and author Dana Thomas charts the volatile career trajectories of two of the most controversial impresarios in international fashion. She not only shares personal insights from experiences at the designers’ often historic shows, but has also interviewed over 150 people to gain deep insights into the inner workings and inspirations behind their spectacular creations. Both men came from similar backgrounds and rose to head up storied fashion houses like Christian Dior and Givenchy. Rumours surrounding their lives are definitely touched upon, however the underlying idea is to pull back the curtains behind their respective creative processes and discuss whether the creative soul of fashion has been killed in the pursuit of profits.
Best for: Women who know that a thing of beauty is a joy forever.
SHOP NOW: Gods And Kings (Rs 1,470)
2. The Beautiful Fall: Fashion, Genius, And Glorious Excess In 1970s Paris
By Alicia Drake
A fascinating portrait of two fashion legends, The Beautiful Fall recounts the historic rivalry between Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld in their early years and beyond. Set against the backdrop of an intensely creative period in 1970s Paris, the book is a richly-detailed account of real life fashion history replete with all the excesses, scandals, cat fights and genius creativity that came with it.
Best for: Someone with a serious interest in fashion history.
SHOP NOW: The Beautiful Fall (Rs 1,730)
3. Fashion Lives: Fashion Icons
With Fern Mallis
Compiled from a series of interviews conducted by the award-winning creator of New York Fashion Week (and Indian fashion week regular) Fern Mallis, Fashion Lives: Fashion Icons is a spectacular tome of 19 no-holds-barred conversations featuring the likes of Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Michael Kors and others. Profound, funny, provocative and full of never-before-seen personal photographs, the book introduces readers to the real artists behind the public figures we all know and love.
Best for: Those who like a ring-side view of the action.
SHOP NOW: Fashion Lives: Fashion Icons (Rs 4,265)
4. The Woman I Wanted To Be
By Diane von Furstenberg
Diane von Furstenberg started her journey in fashion with only an idea of who she wanted to be – in her own words, “the kind of woman who is independent and who doesn’t rely on a man to pay her bills.” Armed with a suitcase full of jersey dresses and characteristic determination, her journey from relative anonymity to one the most iconic female entrepreneurs in fashion is nothing short of fascinating. The book offers candid insights into what it takes to build a global business, peppered with witty revelations on life, love and family.
Best for: Gloria Steinem-esque fashion feminists.
SHOP NOW: The Woman I Wanted To Be (Rs 599)
5. I’ll Drink To That: A Life In Style, With A Twist
By Betty Halbreich
Betty Halbreich has spent 40 years as a legendary shopper and stylist at the iconic New York store Bergdorf Goodman, working with stars, socialites and ordinary women to help them find their personal style. Filled with opinionated yet likeable wisdom and wit, I’ll Drink To That is an inspirational memoir of a woman who found comfort in clothing through a lonely, if privileged, childhood. That set the stage for a long career in fashion, not as a trivial pursuit, but as a way to create a deeper meaning for both herself and other women. At 86, this fierce creature continues to dole out straightforward advise at Bergdorf.
Best for: Women who want to find themselves.
SHOP NOW: I’ll Drink To That (Rs 799)
6. Models Of Influence: 50 Women Who Reset The Course Of Fashion
By Nigel Barker
Veteran fashion photographer Nigel Barker has created an authoritative book profiling 50 women who’ve left a lasting impression on fashion, the modelling industry, and our notions of beauty. Eight chronological chapters spotlight an era and the women who made their mark in them – starting from the 1940s right through to the present day. Beautifully interspersing over a 100 seminal photographs with entertaining anecdotes, the book features legendary names like Dorian Leigh, Twiggy, Veruschka, Lauren Hutton, Iman, Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss as well as present day supers like Cara Delevingne, Karlie Kloss, Joan Smalls and Kate Upton.
Best for: Women who know that models can be more than just a pretty face.
SHOP NOW: Models Of Influence (Rs 2,510)
7. Culture To Catwalk: How World Cultures Influence Fashion
By Kristin Knox
A unique book that traces the roots of contemporary ready-to-wear designers to traditional costume clothing, Culture To Catwalk spans over 60 global cultures and expertly illustrates how garments such as the Japanese kimono, the Arabic burqa, imperial Chinese robes and Turkish harem pants have influenced the works of design powerhouses like Coco Chanel, Christian Dior and Diane von Furstenberg (whose iconic wrap dress is said to be inspired by the kimono). The book also showcases how global fashion’s approach has gone from local to global and back again to local, charting the continued rise and influence of street style on the present day runway.
Best for: Fashion girls who love a bit of global history mixed with culture.
SHOP NOW: Culture To Catwalk (Rs 2,770)
By Diana Vreeland
Harper’s Bazaar and later Vogue‘s legendary editor Diana Vreeland was a fascinating woman whose passion for fashion energised and inspired the industry for nearly 50 years. She single-handedly influenced the manner in which fashion magazines were produced, right from putting ethnic models inside the pages of Vogue to championing designers who would go on to becoming legends. The book is full of intoxicating anecdotes about her life and experiences, as she was friends with the most famous figures of her time, including movie stars, artists, princes and international legends. The short book takes you on an entertaining ride in style – one great story at a time.
Best for: Women who love a good chuckle.
SHOP NOW: D.V. (Rs 790)
9. Women In Clothes
By Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits & Leanne Shapton
A collection of conversations, surveys and quips from over 600 women of different nationalities, Women In Clothes explores how women experience clothing on a more personal level. Full of tales that are quirky, funny and poignant, the book adds depth to the idea of fashion by showcasing how our sartorial choices reveal family or personal history, psychology and individuality. And therein lies its joy: it opens up possibilities of shared experiences through clothes and fashion but also echoes deeply private thoughts.
Best for: Those interested in a more cerebral approach to dressing.
SHOP NOW: Women In Clothes (Rs 2,166)
10. Champagne Supernovas: Kate Moss, Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen, And The 90s Renegades Who Remade Fashion
By Maureen Callahan
The 90s was an explosive era of alternative fashion, and Champagne Supernovas profiles it all in shocking detail: sex, drugs, rock and frocks and the complicated, troubled personalities who sparked a fashion revolution. Fast-paced, gossipy and cleverly put together, the book is an entertaining read about how myths are made. We promise you’ll never look at these famous figures in the same light again.
Best for: Women with an appetite for destruction.
SHOP NOW: Champagne Supernovas (Rs 1,210)
The Week In Style