The global COVID-19 pandemic has left the majority of the fashion industry to work from home. As we move through this new routine, it can become very easy to get bored. Even when we work from home, we all find extra time in our days. Try using this time for your own professional development, or just to expand your own fashion knowledge, through reading. While you can search your library for the readings you’ve reported, here are ten recommendations for fashion books.
1. Fifty Years of Fashion: A New Look for Today, by Valerie Steele
Written by fashion historian and FIT Museum Director Valerie Steele, Fifty Years Of Fashion describes the evolution of style and industry in the second half of the 20th century. This entertaining and educational read breaks down eras by decade, discussing the socio-economic factors that have affected trends and tastes.
2. A fashion enthusiast, by Holly Brubach
This collection of fashion essays brings together a carefully selected array of pieces originally published in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker or The Atlantic in the 1980s or 1990s. Each essay examines clothing in the context of cultural influences. These essays are a great way to reflect on the styles of decades gone by through the opinions of the time.
3. Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, by Dana Thomas
Published in 2015 by journalist Dana Thomas, Gods and Kings discusses the biographies and careers of McQueen and Galliano, framing the careers of the two designers in the context of the 1990s. The book describes ways in which the relentless state of the industry sewing has affected men psychologically.
4. Articles: is fashion modern? by Paola Antonelli
Items has been published as a companion catalog to MoMA’s 2017 exhibition, “Is Fashion Modern”. Through an alphabetical ranking of 111 garments from the 20th and 21st centuries, this book examines each piece as a work of modern art, examining each in terms of culture, work, marketing, aesthetics, technology and of pop culture.
5. Elsa Schiaparelli: a biography, by Meryle Secrest
A telling tale of Elsa Schiaparelli’s life and career, Meryle Secrest’s biography is well-written and easy to read. This holistic view of Schiaparelli educates the reader about the designer’s personal life, design influences, friendships with notable artists, and how the political landscape of her time affected her work. The book lets you understand the impact that Schiaparelli’s work has had on fashion today.
6. The End of Fashion: How Marketing Changed the Clothing Industry Forever, by Teri Agins
Journalist Teri Agins wrote The End of Fashion in 2000, exploring the impact of consumerism and marketing on creativity in fashion. It examines business factors such as manufacturing, retailing, licensing and financing and how these modern concepts have changed fashion from an art to an industry.
7. Fashion Glass, by Cecil Beaton
Published by historic fashion photographer Cecil Beaton in 1954, The Glass of Fashion has become a classic in fashion literature. Beaton remembers figures and icons that influenced fashion and culture in the 1940s and 1950s.
8. Women in Clothes, by Sheila Hart, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton
This 2014 book is a fun but informative read. Its editors interviewed more than 600 influential women, including Cindy Sherman, Tavi Gevinson, Lena Dunham and Molly Ringwald, to explore the importance of style decisions on women as individuals. It examines the ways in which clothing choices can build confidence, exemplify personality, express values, and act as an armor.
9. Alexander McQueen: Wild Beauty, by Andrew Bolton
A companion catalog to the famous retrospective exhibition on the work of Alexander McQueen, Savage Beauty examines the designer’s career through an introduction by Susannah Frankel, an interview with Tim Blanks with Sarah Burton, quotes from McQueen himself and beautiful photographs of his works and presentations.
10. Silk for Feeding Dogs, by Jackie Mallon
Written by FashionUnited’s Jackie Mallon, Silk For The Feed Dogs is a fictional novel set in the international fashion industry. Told from the perspective of thoughtfulness, depth and humor, this novel draws on a decade of industry experience.
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