I’m a woman of many passions: fashion and reading are two big ones. Getting my hands on a gorgeous coffeetable book with great fashion photography or a memoir from one of my favorite style icons is pretty much the perfect way for me to spend my time, so now I’ve started collecting them. Right now, I’ve managed to score 11 books that make my little fashion-obsessed heart flutter.
Books that include fashion photography and fashion illustrations:
Women In This Town by Giuseppe Santamaria
This pretty little book is a visual collection of street style, captured by Sydney-based graphic designer and photographer Santamaria. Before he released this book in 2015, he actually photographed men’s style with his blog Men In This Town back in 2010. The sister version is packed with eyecatching, colorful photographs of women of all sizes and styles from key fashion capitals including New York, Paris, Melbourne, Tokyo, Madrid, and London. Sprinkled throughout the book are interview profiles with select talent of the fashion industry that Santamaria has captured.
For Valentine’s Day last year, my boyfriend took me to Barnes & Noble and let me run wild and pick out a few great books (yes, he’s amazing!) so after much deliberation in the fashion section, one of the books I settled on was this gorgeous gilded hardcover from fashion illustrator Megan Hess. She draws beautifully elaborate, flowing versions of iconic dresses from ones designed by Versace to ones worn by Cate Blanchett, with quick background info and killer soundbites from fashion fame.
Memoirs by Fashion Icons
I scored this amazing (and totally huge!) hardcover of Grace Coddington’s memoir from a school book sale for $1. She’s known for her role as Creative Director at Vogue, designing the intricate, intense photoshoots we see in the pages of the magazine. In her memoir, she reveals all: from the people she’s worked with to the people she grew up with, all written with humor and, well, grace.
One of the biggest “it” girls in fashion, Alexa Chung released her creative memoir (it’s packed with essays, her own photography, and drawings) in 2013, describing the story behind her style and the many musical and fashion icons she’s looked to for inspiration. Rather than being a straightforward, quick reading experience, Alexa lets readers relax with her own super cool “it girl” experiences.
Betts is an award-winning author and has held editorial positions at Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, so she’s a great voice in the fashion world today, and her sweet, inspiring coming-of-age memoir tackles her story of becoming a fashion journalist in Paris during the 1980s and the journeys she has since been part of in this industry.
Books full of Fashion Tips
Fashion Hacks: 500 Stylish Wardrobe Solutions from Head-to-Toe by Caroline Jones and Fiona Wright
Beauty writers/editors Jones and Wright team up for this super cute little book with 500 helpful fashion tips for every possible item in your wardrobe. It covers different types of shoes and handbags, dressing for your age and shape, and general fashion advice.
Vazquez is a little bit of everything: She’s a frequent TV contributor, style expert, creative powerhouse, and author. Her 2013 guide is a treasure trove of helpful fashion tips for an affordable shopping experience, made fun and easy with personal quizzes and advice tailored for every body type, every shopping style, and every woman.
Back in 2009, Teen Vogue launched a helpful handbook for young fashion enthusiasts to learn everything they can about pursuing a career in fashion. The book includes interviews with famous people in the industry (like Marc Jacobs and Patrick Demarchelier) and covers all aspects of the industry with bright photographic spreads. As if that’s not enough, Anna Wintour praised the book as an “indispensable resource”!
Books from major Fashion Icons
Rachel Zoe has always been one of my biggest fashion inspirations, so scoring her pretty hardcover book was a dream. The book is packed with never-before-seen photos and Zoe’s own narrative about her journey in fashion from past to present, explaining her style evolution in creative pages that double as glamorous advice for readers.
Design Your Life: Creating Success through Personal Style by Rachel Roy
I won this pre-version from a Goodreads giveaway which was super exciting. since obviously Goodreads knows how much I love fashion… With beautiful fashion illustrations, personal anecdotes of Roy’s history, and tons of great tips for women ready to achieve success, this book is a really helpful look at all the positive feelings that design and fashion can accomplish, especially for female entrepreneurs.
We all know Tim Gunn is a huge name in the fashion world, thanks to his work as a renowned style consultant, creative officer for Liz Claiborne, and the main mentor on Project Runway. His hefty “bible” acts like a textbook for fashion, covering the origins of all different types of clothing items narrated by Tim’s signature quirky wisdom, and includes bright photographs and tons of intriguing stories about the culture of fashion.
Ready to dive into these rich readings from and about your favorite fashion icons? Click the title of each book to purchase it on Amazon! Let me know in the comments what some of your favorite fashion reads are.