Fashion book publishing is booming. For the second year in a row, FAJO presents its holiday gift guide of top fashion books on the market that would make a great gift for anyone on your list— be it an intellectual, a movie buff, a music fan and or a celebrities’ junkie.
We discover some of our favourite picks below to help you decide what kind of a reader they would most appeal to and why.
Fashion + Music by Katie Baron
Katie Baron is a recognized fashion writer and respectable critic, based in London. Last year, she published a book Fashion + Music with Laurence King Publishing that explores the connection between pop stars, their music and fashion. The focus of the book is people who stand behind and create the most influential pop images.
This book shines the light on the stylists and creative directors who have been shaping the visuals of pop music over the last few decades. The unique aspect of this book is that the author was able to interview all of her heroes and they provided not only exclusive stories and anecdotes behind some of the most iconic looks, but also their mood boards, personal photographs and visual references. Every chapter is dedicated to one stylist and lists their most prolific works and notable clients. From Duran Duran and Aerosmith to Madonna, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga—every significant performer and pop star is featured in this book from a new perspective, a perspective of those who created their looks. The only artist that is missing there is Michael Jackson, but he deserves a book of his own.
While some names have become household names, like Nicola Formichetti or Jean-Paul Goude, you may not have heard of others, although you are definitely familiar with their work. Through the pages of the book, the author explores how artistic directors express gender, race, and multicultural and artistic barriers that have challenged pop culture and fashion. It is a pleasure to read this book slowly and savour every chapter, as it provides unique stories that even the biggest pop culture junkies might have never known before.
This book would make a great gift to anyone interested in pop and celebrity culture, fashion and music, art directors and people behind the scenes, as well as those interested in art and pop history.
Photos courtesy of Laurence King Publishing.
Timeless Icons. The style of celebrities by Carlo Mazzoni.
Timeless Icons. The style of celebrities is a coffee-table book written by Carlo Mazzoni—the former editor in chief of L’Officiel Italy—and sponsored by Tod’s. This edition consists of a four-paragraph introduction and 160 pages of black-and-white images.
The volume is divided in two parts—female and male style icons. Brigitte Bardot graces one cover, while Mick Jagger is featured on the opposite side of the book, for the male half of the book. The selection of celebrities varies from actors and musicians to models and socialites. And while some of the featured personalities are no doubt established style icons, like Audrey Hepburn, Jane Birkin, James Dean and Sean Connery, some of them would appeal to younger readers, like Bella Hadid, Taylor Swift, Kit Harrington and James Franco.
The icons featured here are timeless, indeed. Twiggy looks as contemporary as Emma Watson, while Charlize Theron is as classic as Brigitte Bardot. Gorgeous Blake Lively, Cate Blanchett and Lauren Hutton, as well as dashing George Clooney, Leonardo Di Caprio and Marlon Brando are among 59 celebrities featured in this book. Apart from Hollywood, it also features several superstars from countries in Asia and highlighs some glamorous European film stars, like Alain Delon, Jean Paul Belmondo and Marcello Mastroianni. However, for some reason it is missing Catherine Deneuve, Anouk Aimee and Sophie Loren.
This book will make a great gift for those, who enjoy looking and flipping through pictures and visuals. It’s a beautifully curated selection of images that celebrate charm, elegance and sophistication.
Photos courtesy of Rizzoli – Electa.
Audrey and Givenchy. Fashion love affair by Cindy De La Hoz
Audrey Hepburn never stops to inspire authors when it comes to style and fashion. This book by Cindy De La Hoz is a celebration of the unique friendship and creative partnership between Hepburn and her beloved dressmaker, Hubert de Givenchy.
Audrey and Givenchy. Fashion love affair is not an academic publication. Still, it is informative for those who are eager to know more about the working relationship between the actress and the designer. For those who already know a lot about them, the book provides a feast for the eyes with a beautiful selection of photographs and film stills from the movies, on which the two collaborated. It is divided into chapters according to the film titles for which Givenchy provided Ms. Hepburn’s wardrobe. It ends with the “Off-screen chic”, a chapter with personal images of the actress, including one from her wedding and a photoshoot for Vogue. This is an important aspect of their partnership, as it provided the consistency of Hepburn’s style.
In this book, De La Hoz explores the films and the trends that Givenchy’s creations started, such as the Sabrina neckline and ballerina skirts. Images are accompanied by descriptions or quotes, either from Audrey, her film character or people she worked with.
Audrey and Givenchy. Fashion love affair is a compact and light book, that can be easily read on the go. It will make a nice gift for anyone interested in Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy, Hollywood of the 1950-1970s, and fashion and film.
Photos courtesy of Paramount Pictures/Album/SuperStock, Photofest and Running Press.
Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore by Terry Newman
One of the “loudest” fashion book releases this year was Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore written by Terry Newman and published by Harper’s Design. It got a lot of well-deserved critical praise and media attention.
This book breaks the stereotype that fashion is a frivolous passion or hobby. Newman researches 50 of the most prominent authors of the last 150 years, and how and what they wrote about clothes in their literature. The profiles include their photographs and their personal stories about fashion. The book also explores signature looks of each person, like glasses, suits, hair and hats.
Joan Didion, who is an established fashion icon, graces the cover. Oscar Wilde, Quentin Crisp, George Sand and Fran Lebowitz, who have been very flamboyant when it came to their looks, are also featured. The book also highlights some not-so-obvious fashion enthusiasts. Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, John Updike, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote, Donna Tartt and Maya Angelou are just a few individuals whose relationship with clothes is examined in this book. This is a very deeply researched exploration of personalities, who dedicated their lives to words, but knew and enjoyed fashion as well. Newman provides numerous not-so-well-known fun facts, quotes and anecdotes.
Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore would make a great gift for an intellectual, a fan of both literature and fashion, and those who enjoy breaking stereotypes.
Photos courtesy of HarperCollins.