At the beginning of the year, e-books had taken over the literary world, but a recent report by the New York Times indicates that e-sales are slumping and print is on the rise. That’s good news for those of us who still love the way it feels to have the weight of a good book resting on our laps, or who long for the free time to slip into the private world between the book’s pages. As the year comes to a close, Savoir Flair reflects on the top ten fashion books of 2015 and invites you, Dear Reader, to rediscover the pleasure of a quiet afternoon spent flipping through the gorgeous pages of these beautifully illustrated, photographed, and written works.
Designers on Instagram #Fashion
While it may seem counter-intuitive to buy a book version of what is essentially an Instagram feed, the level of curation and artistry brought to this project by the designer, photographer, and stylist members of the Council of Fashion Design in America (CFDA) make this way better than a mindless scroll through social media. This original collection of photographs was handpicked by huge names in fashion like Diane von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs, and Rachel Zoe, and helps the reader see the world through their eyes. Not only will the imagery of this hip coffee-table book inspire you, but you’ll also discover a whole new world of fashion inside its pages.
Purchase Designers on Instagram #Fashion here.
Grace Jones: I'll Never Write my Memoirs
Way before there was Lady Gaga and even before there was Madonna, there was Grace Jones. The Jamaican actor, musician, and model is one of the most influential women in the field of fashion to this day, carving a brazen, bold path through the late 1970s Parisian fashion scene to become an iconic musician famed for her shocking performances, androgynous looks, and carefree attitude. At 67, Jones is still going strong today and issued a much-anticipated memoir chronicling her extremely vivid life in even more vivid detail.
Purchase Grace Jones: I’ll Never Write My Memoirs here.
Love Style Life
Garance Doré, the charming French blogger and early adopter of street style photography, also happens to be worthy of a serious girl crush. Her sense of style, personable style of writing, and trend-forecasting abilities have made her one of the biggest names in fashion blogging since 2006. Now, nearly a decade after she launched her career, Doré has been granted a book deal, and her fashionable tome is as delightful, informational, and visually stimulating as her eponymous website.
Purchase Love Style Life here.
Fashion: A Timeline in Photographs: 1850 to Today
For the amateur fashion buff, fashion student, or fashion historian, this book is a must-have. Told pictorially with never-before-seen and rare archival images, fashion’s long history unfolds in the most elegant way imaginable. Not only is this a definitive historical tome penned by America’s leading fashion historian, Caroline Rennolds Milbank, but it’s the kind of book that will introduce you to a world within fashion that you never knew existed. By following the smart chronology of the book, readers will really be able to see and connect with how people dressed and how fashion evolved over more than a century.
Purchase Fashion: A Timeline in Photographs: 1850 to Today here.
The legendary designer Giorgio Armani is revealed in this weighty book about his life, career, and immense fashion influence. Released on his brand’s 40th anniversary this year, Giorgio Armani includes personal excerpts written by the designer, as he guides you through a tour of the past 40 years of his life and his work. The book also includes breathtaking images by world-famous photographers like Annie Leibovitz, Herb Ritts, and Steven Meisel.
Purchase Giorgio Armani here.
Bottega Veneta: Art of Collaboration
This story is masterfully told by legendary fashion writer Tim Blanks and the brand’s current designer Tomas Maier. The image-driven tome invites the reader to discover thousands of photographs taken for Bottega Veneta campaigns in collaboration with the world’s best photographers, like Peter Lindbergh and Nick Knight. Additionally, you’re drawn into the behind-the-scenes world of Bottega Veneta’s fashion shows, shown close-ups of the brand’s auspicious creative output, and more.
Purchase Bottega Veneta: Art of Collaboration here.
The Sartorialist X
The third installment of Scott Schuman’s photographic body of work, The Sartorialst X, aims at the outliers in the global fashion community. Schuman jetsets around the globe to unlikely fashion havens in Dubai, Peru, India, South Africa, and more, and uncovers truly astonishing sartorial moments where one would least expect to find them. As Schuman described to Savoir Flair in a recent interview, “With this third book, I wanted to challenge people to see fashion outside of just Paris, London, and Milan on the runway. I want people to see fashion in Dubai, and then jump to a great shot on the street in Peru. I hope it opens people’s eyes to global fashion culture, outside of the runway, and I hope people become interested in other cultures because of it.”
Purchase The Sartorialist X here.
Africa is quickly becoming the epicenter of an exciting fashion movement that focuses both on innovation and preservation of indigenous craftsmanship. This colorful book illustrates the new faces in African fashion, with a focus on contemporary design. You’ll uncover the new frontier of fashion through the lens of Congolese photographer Baudouin Mouanda and discover new, emerging talent in the fashion world.
Purchase Haute Africa here.
Elsa Schiaparelli: A Biography
Elsa Schiaparelli was the most groundbreaking designer of her day, but her career was often overshadowed by that of her peers, like Coco Chanel. What set Schiaparelli apart was her vigorous interest in the surreal and her mission to convert artistic imagery into defiant and stunning garments. In this book, author Meryle Secrest investigates exactly what made Schiaparelli the pioneering visionary that she was, and underscores her inventive use of rayon, latex, and velvet, as well as her collaborations with some of the most brilliant minds of the 20s and 30s, like Salvador Dali, Jean Cocteau, Cecil Beaton, Richard Avedon, and many more.
Purchase Elsa Schiaparelli: A Biography here.
The leading British fashion designer and political activist has accumulated many stories throughout her unique and intriguing career, which spans all the way back to the 70s when she engineered the punk movement with the use of counter-culture fashion. Over her lifetime, Westwood has contributed an incalculable amount of design ingenuity to the fashion world and has been a vocal supporter of women’s rights, environmental rights, animal rights, and more. In this authorized biography, you’ll hear Westwood tell her story in her own voice and be drawn into her world, where punks and royalty exist side by side.
Purchase Vivienne Westwood here.