HomeLIFESTYLESHOPPINGFive Fashion Books For Your Coffee Table

Five Fashion Books For Your Coffee Table


  1. “Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty”

    The first retrospective in nearly 20 years of the beloved photographer Irving Penn’s work opens this month at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where it will be on view until March and then followed by a national tour. The accompanying monograph — which includes an essay by the curator Merry A. Foresta — provides a comprehensive look at the true range of his work. The book includes everything from a striking image of a 1926 Chanel sequined suit to a still life of blocks of frozen fruits and vegetables and close-ups of decomposing cigarettes. There’s also a look back at Penn’s early street photography in New York and Philadelphia, as well as portraits of Le Corbusier and Truman Capote.

    “The Belgians: An Unexpected Fashion Story”

  2. Published in conjunction with a recent survey of Flemish fashion designers at the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, “The Belgians,” edited by the curator Didier Vervaeren, traces the emergence of Belgian fashion as an international phenomenon — from Norine (a now largely forgotten pioneer of the Belgian avant-garde) to Martin Margiela and Raf Simons. Filled with iconic runway photos, the tome pays particular attention to the subversive legacy of the Antwerp Six — including Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten and Walter Van Beirendonck — and highlights the enduring influence of their gender-bending, punk-inspired approach to fashion.


  3. “Bottega Veneta: Art of Collaboration”

    Since 2002, Bottega Veneta’s Creative Director Tomas Maier has collaborated with a different artist for each season’s campaign. “Bottega Veneta: Art of Collaboration” presents a comprehensive look at the fashion house’s stunning — and varied — 14-year portfolio. Among work by fashion mainstays like Annie Leibovitz and Steven Meisel are many more unexpected collaborators: Nan Goldin, Larry Sultan, Tina Barney, Philip-Lorca diCorcia and Alex Prager, among others. “I like to think about how Bottega Veneta exists in the real world, once the bags or the clothes have been bought and become part of someone’s life,” Maier told T. “Looking at the campaigns together, they give me a sense of this, because the images have narratives and scenarios that go beyond the typical fashion image.”


  4. “Philip Treacy: Hat Designer”

    “A hat can completely change the personality of the wearer, make him stand differently or walk differently,” the milliner writes in his new book, “Philip Treacy: Hat Designer.” “Most people gain their confidence from a hat. Hats are empowering.” Featuring editorial shots by legendary fashion photographers including Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon and Herb Ritts, the luxurious monograph celebrates Treacy’s most fantastical, innovative and iconic creations — including a bird made of twigs designed for Alexander McQueen, his iconic “ship hat” worn by both Grace Jones and Isabella Blow and a Warhol-inspired fascinator resembling a can of Campbell’s soup, modeled by Naomi Campbell.


  5. “Art and Fashion: Collaborations and Connections Between Icons”

    Over the past decade, collaborations between fashion designers and artists have become increasingly ubiquitous — from Takashi Murakami’s work with Louis Vuitton to Damien Hirst’s partnership with Alexander McQueen and Jeff Koons’s with Stella McCartney. “Art and Fashion” examines the historically contentious relationship between the two fields through the lens of 25 collaborations, including Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dalí’s iconic lobster dress, Cecil Beaton’s 1951 Vogue editorial (featuring models in ball gowns posing in front of Jackson Pollock paintings) and Vivienne Westwood’s Keith Haring-covered textiles. “Collaborations are risky. They involve egos and can often be reminiscent of disastrous grad-school group work,” fashion historian E.P. Cutler, the book’s co-author, told T. “But when creatives speak the same language, the result is not only capitalistically appealing, but also ennui-shattering and genuinely inspiring.”



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