Fashion & Accessories

By Alexandra Taylor

With the holiday season upon us, shopping for loved ones and finding the perfect gift can be a daunting task. For the fashion-obsessed, look no further than purchasing a fashion book, whether a large coffee table book filled with moving photographs to guides that will inspire young designers and fashion experts alike. With a wide range of recently published titles, finding the right book takes no more than a trip to The Strand, Barnes & Noble, or a few clicks on Amazon.com. We picked our five favorite gift-worthy books, which are sure to please any astute fashionista.

Courtesy Rizzoli Publications

Carine Roitfeld: Irreverent, written by Roitfeld herself is a substantial read with an in-depth visual history of her valiant career. An innovative and daring leader within the fashion industry, Roitfeld’s years as the editor of French Vogue are highlighted in a selection of 250 magazine tear sheets and many covers from cutting-edge editorial shoots. Credited for launching the careers of some of the fashion industry’s most innovative designers including Tom Ford, Roitfeld is a talented mind within fashion. Vogue Editor Anna Wintour states “Carine, and her vision of French Vogue, embodies all that the world likes to think of as Parisian style: a sense of chic that’s impeccable and sometimes idiosyncratic and which forever lives on a moonlit street as seen through the lens of Helmut Newton. List price: $100, Rizzoli Publications. Irreverent can be found at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.

Courtesy Assouline Publications

American Fashion Travel by The Council of Fashion Designers of America is a vibrant journey into the globetrotting adventures of America’s favorite fashion designers. A personal scrapbook with photographs, must-visit destinations, and a wanderlust-sparking questionnaire, the coffee table book will inspire your future travels and much more. Available for purchase at Assouline boutiques and at major bookstores, listed at $45.


Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty showcases the unprecedented work of a brilliant mind. With stunning photographs of all the pieces presented at the Metropolitan Museum exhibition earlier in the year, the photo book is a must buy for art and fashion enthusiasts. The book reveals the true brilliance of his creations, from his training as a Savile Row tailor to his impeccable couture work. Filled with quotes and interviews from the iconic designer and a passage on McQueen’s ingenious work from creative director of the Alexander McQueen brand, Sarah Burton. Available at Amazon.com, $45.



Hussein Chalayan, a Rizzoli Publication, outlines the visionary work of Hussein Chalayan, an avant-garde figure in the fashion industry known for pushing the boundaries on dress and technology. Seen as one of the most conceptual and innovative fashion designers and artists today, Hussein Chalayan is internationally acclaimed for his inventive use of textiles and implementation of technology into clothing as a means to produce a statement on the process of design. The book explores the mind and work of the design innovator, with creative pieces on view ranging from a coffee table that turns into a skirt, to clothing, which can transform with a push of a button. The book reveals a comprehensive look at his body of work to date. For purchase at The Strand and BarnesandNoble.com, $85.


The last suggestion is a combination of sketchbook and fashion guide for inspiring designers. FASHIONARY combines detailed fashion information, technical flats and fashion templates to aid in the creation of garment designs. The sketchbook offers 400 figure templates for easy sketching as well as a complete fashion dictionary with measurement tools, a brand index, body measurements, pattern and flat drawings, spec sheets, fabric content, fashion events and more. The collection of FASHIONARY sketchbooks include both men’s and women’s books in A4 and A5 sizes and range from $23 – $28. The FASHIONARY can be purchased at http://www.fashionary.org.

Originally published December 2011
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