Gift ideas: Top 3 fashion books for the holiday season

December 12, 2016

A fashion book is an excellent gift idea and often a perfect addition to any coffee table and home library. With this in mind, FAJO has prepared a gift guide with reviews of the newest fashion book releases that are hot-off-the-press and were published not earlier than October 2016.

You may judge these books by their covers, because they are as beautiful as the stories inside them!

Jackie and Cassini. A fashion love affair. by Lauren Marino


With the upcoming film Jackie, starring Natalie Portman, the personality of Jackie Kennedy, especially during her First Lady years, is getting more attention from both the fans and people with inquiring minds. The Running Press Publishing House has a perfect gift especially for them.

In October 2016, Lauren Marino released a book Jackie and Cassini. A fashion love affair. Marino is an expert when it comes to the former First Lady — she has previously published an acclaimed book What Would Jackie Do? —  a guide for ladies, who aspire to be like Jackie.

Jackie and Cassini provides a lot of interesting information and beautiful photos from the years of John Kennedy’s presidency. It focuses solely on the years when Jackie was a First Lady, from 1960 to 1963, and the connection to her dressmaker, Oleg Cassini.

Cassini was a costume designer in Hollywood. His other most famous client was Grace Kelly; they even had a short-term engagement. Moreover, he was a friend of Joseph Kennedy, Jackie’s father-in-law. This is how Jackie and Cassini became close friends and confidants.

There is no question that Jackie Kennedy is the ultimate style icon and an epitome of elegance. The book provides insightful view on how the collaboration between the First Lady and her “Secretary of Style” was created, developed and executed. It also illustrates some symbolism of their choices of embellishments and colours.

Jackie and Cassini. A fashion love affair. is a convenient, small book that would easily fit in a purse of those who prefer to read while commuting. Also, it can be easily read from cover to cover in one-and-a-half hours. Overall, it will make a great addition to the home library of fashion lovers who enjoy both informative publications and photo books.

Fashion in Film by Christopher Laverty


For fans of fashionable films, cinema buffs and anyone who is interested in a deeper look into clothes on screen, in October 2016 Laurence King Publishing released a great book, Fashion in Film by Christopher Laverty.

Laverty is a well-known writer, founder and editor-in-chief of a website, Clothes on Film. He has specialized in this topic for more than six years and is a respectable expert when it comes to fashion in film.

Unlike other books on fashion and film, this publication focuses on the role of fashion designers. In alphabetical order, the book discusses works of artists from Agnès B and André Courrèges to Vivienne Westwood and Yves Saint Laurent. There are no essays on other famous Hollywood costume designers, like Edith Head or Orry-Kelly, because author’s intention was to research specifically those who “functioned in both industries during their career.”

Essays about contribution of designers in certain films focus on garments that they provided or designed for films, and the roles that they played within the context of said film. It does not simply list designer’s clothes, but explains what they meant in a cultural discourse. For example, Bill Blass’ or Calvin Klein’s creations were not chosen simply because of their looks for The Devil Wears Prada (2006) and Clueless (1995), but due to the message they sent to viewers.

Every chapter provides beautiful photographs of actors, film stills and sketches. The cover features one of the most iconic movie images of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961). The title of the book is foiled in a rose-gold shade that gives it a very contemporary feel.

It is quite big in size, so it can also serve as a nice coffee table book. Fashion in Film is a fabulous addition to the library of anyone who is fascinated with fashion in film and even those who work in these industries.

Versace by Donatella Versace


In November 2016, Rizolli released an anticipated book on the fashion house Versace, authored by Donatella Versace herself.

This is a gorgeous book in a coffee-table format, that is richly illustrated with photographs from Versace’s family archives, advertisement campaigns, as well as runway and backstage photography. It consists of essays, written by renowned writes, journalists, curators and fashion critics, such as Maria Luisa Frisa and Stefano Tonchi (who are also credited as writers), Ingrid Sischy, Tim Blanks, Simone Marchetti, Alexander Fury and Sonnet Stanfill.


Even though this is a coffee table book, there is a lot to read and explore. Notably, Versace is not a biography of neither Gianni not Donatella Versace, but a deconstruction of a brand through its iconography, mythology, the brand’s DNA, its image and values. Moreover, the book focuses on works of Donatella, based on her late brother Gianni’s legacy. Having said that, most of the photography is from the house’s archives after 1997, except for the fall/winter 1995 campaigns that feature Madonna.

The book provides interesting facts about designers’ childhood and Versace’s family history, recollections from working with notable photographers — such as Richard Avedon, Bruce Weber and Steven Meisel — creation of supermodels and collaboration with celebrities, all of whom have become a part of Versace family throughout the years. The book also provides some semiotic analysis of images and a cultural discourse of the Versace fashion house in a contemporary digital age.

The symbiosis of lavish imagery and deep insightful essays would make this book a remarkable gift for anyone who admires the House of Versace, luxury Italian fashion, fashion photography or popular culture.

By Darina Granik
Photography by / courtesy of each publishing house

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