Fashion titles to complete your new year’s booklist

When it comes to fashion books, there’s one big word that appears in all our minds in neon lights: Taschen. The publishing giant has some of the most renowned fashion books, but – with no intention of disregarding their extensive and fabulous catalogue at all – there’s so much more to explore. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most fascinating fashion literature volumes. The idea is to go beyond the classic titles and choosing some that will make us reflect on the meaning of fashion and its role in society and in our lives on a more individual level.

Shall we? 

FASHION THROUGH HISTORY

The Golden Thread: How fabric changed history. (Kassia St. Clair.  / Liveright Pub Corp)

If we’re going to talk about the history of fashion, we’d better do it from its very origin: the fabrics. This book is as thorough as it can be, going back 30.000 years to tell us all about the discovery of some threads on the floor of a Georgian cave and their long journey until the fabrics that we wear on our daily lives. 

Fashion (Chris Breward / Oxford History of Art) 

There are many, many books that talks about fashion history, but the particularity of this one is the wide variety of approaches. It covers fashion shows, fashion editorials, fashion’s influence in society and some of the biggest hits over a 150 year-period. 

The battle of Versailles: The night American fashion stumbled into the spotlight and made history. (Robin Givhan /  Flatiron books) 

It was the 28th of November, 1973. The celebration of a fund-raiser event to restore King Louis XIV’s palace was taking place at the Palace of Versailles and what they didn’t know was that that fashion show would go down in history, as it became an epic “battle” that set the importance of American designers and their role in fashion history from that moment onwards.

THE BIG NAMES

Gods and kings: The rise and fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano. (Dana Thomas / Penguin Press) 

Dana Thomas is a journalist that has many titles on her back. This one is, without a doubt, one of the most insightful and interesting ones. With two of the most celebrated names in the history of fashion on its cover, the book thrives between biography and social history, telling the story of how, while their lives were turning darker by the moment, their work shone the most. 

Grace (Grace Coddington / Chatto & Windus) 

Former model and creative director of the American Vogue magazine, Grace Coddington is as eclectic as can be. Imaginative, discreet, creative… all of that mixed in a red haired woman with a stunning taste, a unique vision and a list of contacts that contains all of the most popular names in fashion.  

Get a Life! The diaries of Vivienne Westwood (Vivienne Westwood / Profile Books) 

Imagine getting an insightful look into one of the most intriguing minds in the fashion scene. The title of the book is the perfect definition of the personality of a fashion designer that has always played by her own rules. 

FASHION & SOCIETY

Why fashion matters (Frances Corner / Thames & Hudson) 

We all love it, but, have you ever wonder about the true role of fashion in society? It is an expression of the times we’re living in, and an intimate form of self-expression. This book, written by the Head of London College of fashion, is an essay with 101 entries that are best to be enjoyed little by little, taking all the chances for reflection that they have to offer. 

The Empire of fashion: dressing modern democracy (Gilles Lipovetsky / Princeton University Press) 

For Lipovetsky, the history of fashion is one with the history of democracy. Through an ironic and insightful story, this social philosopher tries to demonstrate how trends and fashion, however superficial, actually serves the common good. An undoubtedly original way of looking at two hundred years of history. 

Fashionópolis: The price of fast fashion and the future of clothes (Dana Thomas / Penguin)

A necessary reflection to put on the brakes on the fast fashion industry. In times where every other industry is turning green, what is fashion doing to join this particular trend? This book also tackles the issue of the damage caused by the fast fashion system and how we have the power to change it with our shopping choices and habits. 

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