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5 Favorite Fashion Books to Curl Up To

Every holiday season I am reminded that the most precious luxury is time; and when I do find a few moments to myself the thing I love to do most is to curl up with my library of fashion books and jog my brain with jargon, history, and delicious anecdotes that are so particular to the fashion world. If you haven’t yet been gifted with your fashion book wish list, go ahead and spoil yourself with any of the five books below (some old and some new, because education is always in season) that I enjoy over and over again.

1-favorite-fashion-booksThe Anatomy of Fashion: Why We Dress the Way We do
By Colin McDowell

Fashion scholar and renowned commentator Colin McDowell takes us on a historical journey across three themes, “The Body Unclothed” (Skin and Body Adornment, Materials, and Texture, and Colour and Pattern); The Body Anatomized (Head to Waist and Hips to Feet); and The Body Clothed (Looks and Themes in Dress) via his rich text and a visual encyclopedia of over 500 images, illustrations, and paintings. This tome serves as an excellent sourcebook for both designers and commentators who are searching for a deeper understanding of clothing.

US $72; AED/SAR 264 (Phaidon)

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2-favorite-fashion-booksMasters of Fashion Illustration
By David Downton (Laurence King)

Featuring stunning images showcasing a niche and once again valued part of the fashion industry—fashion illustration. The works of great twentieth century fashion illustrators are featured including Giovanni Boldini and Antonio Lopez while the preface is written by the inimitable Carmen Dell’Orefice. Here, the timeless model shares that during her early years in the industry a half-day booking for sitting models (whether for illustrators or photographers) was US $12.50, along with other anecdotes.

US $34; AED/SAR 125

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3-favorite-fashion-booksGrace: 30 Years of Fashion at Vogue
By Grace Coddington

Model, muse, creative director, icon, and workhorse. This 408-page tome (a reissue) showcases the portfolio of work of fashion stylist and creative director Grace Coddington at British Vogue and American Vogue magazines. It features her collaborations with photographers Irving Penn, Cecil Beaton, Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Mario Testino, Horst, and Paolo Roversi, among others.

US $127; AED/SAR 466 (Phaidon)

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4-favorite-fashion-booksMonsieur Dior: Once Upon a Time
By Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni

Inside this beautiful tome, which comes elegantly presented in a Dior gray box with silver tissue and grosgrain bookmark, the author reveals over a dozen interviews with people including Jacqueline de Ribes, John Fairchild, and Pierre Cardin who interacted directly with Monsieur Dior to provide the reader with an exclusive, behind-the-scenes insight into one of fashion’s most distinguished and revered couturiers.

US $54; AED/SAR 197

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5-favorite-fashion-booksImpossible Wardrobes
By Olivier Saillard and Tilda Swinton, Photographed by Ruediger Glatz

This visually stunning 3-book set is a collaboration between Olivier Saillard, the director of the Palais Galliera (the City of Paris’ Museum of Fashion) and the remarkable actress Tilda Swinton. The Impossible Wardrobe (2012) showcases Swinton in various historical garments. In Eternity Dress (2013), a garment is tailored in front of a live audience, and in Cloakroom (2014) Swinton delves into the relationship between an item of clothing and its owner. Documenting sold-out performances in Paris, the set marks these unique moments in time that beautifully explore varied fascinations with fashion and the museum’s remarkable archives.

US $75; AED/SAR 275 (Rizzoli)

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