Six books every fashion lover must have

By  | 

Like any interest, there are so many books out there to fuel your passion for fashion. If you like fashion but don’t think you enjoy reading about it, (to quote Pretty Woman) big mistake. Huge. There is so much knowledge out there to immerse yourself in, in terms of the history of fashion, the industry and its most iconic moments. This is by no means an exhaustive list: there are many a great fashion book out there. But these are some of my absolute favourites that I read and re-read over and over, and a couple that I just really, really, really want.


1. Coco Chanel: the Legend and the Life, Justine Picardie

This is genuinely one of the best insights into Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s life I’ve ever read (and I’ve read a fair few). It’s not too wordy, like some accounts of her life can be and keeps you engaged from start to finish, peppered with quotes from the woman herself. Picardie really paints the picture of how Gabrielle became Coco and how those interlocking C’s came to be as infamous as they are today. I’ve never loved wearing Chanel No5 quite so much as I have since reading this.

2. Culture to Catwalk: How World Cultures Influence Fashion, Kristin Knox

As well as having a keen interest in what constitutes “fashion” worldwide, I think it’s so fascinating how different cultures inspire high-end fashion and some designers’ most iconic designs. As well as going back to the roots of the industry, this book is complete with quotes from designers and beautiful pictures to accompany. I’ve been lusting after this book for quite some time, having had a good flick through in bookshops every now and then, and reeeeeeally want it for my collection ASAP. Birthday present, anyone?


3. The Little Dictionary of Fashion, Christian Dior

Oh, Christian Dior. The man that gave us a whole lotta reasons to be thankful (J’adore, anyone?) has popped his wisdom into a tiny, very chic book. It’s interesting for anyone who wants a better understanding of this designer’s style, complete with some of his signature sketches and black and white photography. This book is tiny but jam-packed, giving you definitions for all of the fashion industry’s terms you need to know and a guide to style. What a babe Mr Dior is.

4. Champagne Supernovas, Maureen Callahan

I am a sucker for the nineties, probably because I was born slap in the middle of them. It’s the era that made Kate Moss, Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen iconic, so if you ask me we should be bloody grateful for it. This book homes in on what made some of the biggest nineties icons who they were and what they got up to “behind the scenes”. It is so well researched, has a good pace throughout and throws you into the midst of some of the darker bits of the fashion industry during the nineties; sometimes you almost feel as if you’re there. Fab read.


5. Parisian Street Style: A Guide to Effortless Chic, Isabelle Thomas and Frederique Veysset

In my honest opinion we’re a bit obsessed with the je ne sais quoi of French style. This book is the perfect accompaniment to that obsession; filled with gorgeous pictures, Parisian style tips and interviews with some of France’s best from the industry, it has a sort of magazine-y feel to it.This is a great book to curl up in an armchair with and feed your Parisian addiction.

6. Fifty Dresses that Changed the World, Design Museum Fifty

Any book with Audrey Hepburn on the front can only be a good thing, right? Taking you through all of the dresses that have made history, this book comprises all of the classic styles of dress and the designers and women who made them iconic. It’s a real insight into how fashion is both evolutionary and revolutionary, taking styles from decades gone by and reworking them. I love books like this; if you do too, check out the Shoes and Handbags editions in the “Fifty” series, and the ones on the various decades of fashion, too.


Are there any fashion reads you feel we’ve missed? Tweet us your faves at @LibertyBelleMag!

Words by Lucy Abbersteen

Jess is your Deputy Editor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *