Aside from watching runway shows and keeping up with the latest style trends, another way to unleash your love for fashion is by reading a good book. Of course, that book has to focus on anything relevant to the world of fashion. If you are searching for that kind of entertainment, we are giving the best fashion book in today’s market.
First things first, as a basis for our search on the best fashion book, we made sure to identify all relevant concepts that can be included. After some research, we conclude that fashion encompasses all practices and styles that have become popular or trendy throughout history, especially recent ones. It embraces every idea regarding clothing, footwear, makeup, hairstyle, and accessories.
Since most fashion books have stylish covers and a lot of pictures, they can be great options when you are looking for photography and coffee table books. If you are also searching for other books, feel free to check out our list based on different genres.
Finally, here is the best fashion book that can indulge you and your love for style:
Our Pick: “Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style” (DK)
“Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style” simply focuses on how fashion evolved from past to present. It includes draped clothing from ancient civilizations until the current fashion designs made for the runway. Aside from the informative texts, there are a lot of striking illustrations to be our guide as we take a look at over three thousand years of changing trends and developments in clothing.
To be more specific, this fashion book covers the traditional dress of ancient Egyptians, the worldwide influences of Western fashion, the Space Age Fashion and Grunge, style icons such as Alexander McQueen, Jacqueline Kennedy, Clara Bow and Marie Antoinette, and general concepts about costuming and haute couture.
This book is perfect for fashion enthusiasts of all ages and cultures. It can be a great educational source for aspiring fashion designers.
Runner Up: “Face Paint: The Story of Makeup” (Lisa Eldridge)
“Face Paint: The Story of Makeup” is a New York Times bestseller. It presents makeup as an ancient practice all over the world as well as a commercial concept. It starts by revealing how the art of decorating the face and body became an integral part of history.
This specific fashion book goes deeper by exploring all the reasons why makeup is used, the materials utilized in different generations, the icons who influenced the development of makeup, and women’s social history.
Particular topics include the Egyptian times, the Classical era, the Victorian age, the peak of Hollywood glam, and the progressing science of makeup.
Also Great: “Tom Ford” (Tom Ford & Bridget Foley)
“Tom Ford” clearly highlights the works of the world-famous fashion icon. It emphasizes a decade of Tom Ford’s creations, focusing on the transformation of Gucci from a deteriorating accessories brand to a global fashion phenomenon that celebrates sexiness. It tells how Ford’s designs massively improved Gucci’s sales.
This particular fashion designer book describes in detail the unique edgy style and modern glamor of Ford’s creations. It presents the full chronological 1994-2004 catalog of Ford’s clothing and accessory creations for Gucci as well as Yves Saint Laurent. It also includes the visions of Ford for the totality of the brand, comprising advertising, store design, and architecture.
Regarding some people who made this book possible, photographers such as Richard Avedon, Steven Meisel, Mario Testino, Helmut Newton, Terry Richardson, Herb Ritts, Craig McDean and Todd Eberle provided readers over 200 pictures, including never-before-seen ones. The date of publication was meant to coincide with Ford’s official parting from Gucci. Ford was hands-on with the content of this book, so only expect the best.
Also Great: “Chanel: Collections and Creations” (Danièle Bott)
“Chanel: Collections and Creations” is a luxurious compilation of images showing the iconic designer’s works. It is a great book for fashionistas everywhere.
This book centers on Coco Chanel’s seductive label that is rooted in originality and tradition. It includes her personal designs all the way from the 1920s. It has a lot of stunning photos of clothes, detailed accessories, and gorgeous models. Simply put, it celebrates the timeless fame of Chanel.
For easier reading, this fashion book is in five main categories: the little black dress, the perfume and makeup, the jewelry, the camellia, and the suit. Then, it explores even more how various fashion designers reinvented these major themes through the years. It also touches the trend of rediscovering the old works of Chanel and wearing it in the modern times.
The content also has never-before-seen images and authentic sketches by Chanel’s current head creative director Karl Lagerfeld. Overall, it has 139 pictures with 83 in full color.
Also Great: “How to Get Dressed: A Costume Designer’s Secrets for Making Your Clothes Look, Fit, and Feel Amazing” (Alison Freer)
“How to Get Dressed: A Costume Designer’s Secrets for Making Your Clothes Look, Fit, and Feel Amazing” is like a styling kit prepared by the author Alison Freer. It contains tricks on how to solve all kinds of wardrobe malfunctions. Freer is a costume designer for film and television productions, so she is obviously a pro. She is used to making quick solutions for accidental wardrobe problems since productions are always rushed.
Aside from survival tips in the world of show business pertaining to styling, this book also contains secrets on how to dress like a real fashionista – even if you are out of good clothes in your closet. It teaches you ways of improving your collection of clothes.
Examples of specific topics are better fitting of garments, closet organization, undergarments for different purposes, and successful thrift shopping for clothes.
Budget Pick: “The Little Dictionary of Fashion: A Guide to Dress Sense for Every Woman” (Christian Dior)
“The Little Dictionary of Fashion: A Guide to Dress Sense for Every Woman” is one practical book. Written by the iconic Christian Dior, he shares styling secrets for all women. He even includes tips on wedding fashion, scarf styling, travel clothes and accessories, and how to make a graceful walk. His guidelines transcend generations, making it timeless. Dior simply aims to teach women three fashion basics: good taste, grooming, and simplicity.
This fashion “dictionary” originally existed for the exhibition Golden Age of Couture in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
How to Select the Best Fashion Book
Fashion has a large scope. It can be really tricky to choose the best fashion book that can meet your personal interests. So, here are major categories that can be your guide in selecting the best fashion book based on your preferences:
Books focusing on fashion designers typically have a lot of images and texts regarding their clothing, accessories and/or footwear designs. Aside from knowing interesting facts about these style icons, you can get ideas from these books if you want to pursue fashion design. The best part? These designers promote uniqueness, leading to various style genres that can broaden your horizons. Some of the newest fashion designer books are Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton’s “Schiaparelli & Prada: Impossible Conversations,” Catherine Ormen’s “All About Yves,” and Ben Evans and Luke Leitch’s “Vogue on Dolce & Gabbana.”
These books can teach us how to successfully become amateur fashion photographers. They can also show readers mesmerizing pictures related to style, trends and icons. Examples include Shantrelle P. Lewis’s “Dandy Lion: The Black Dandy and Street Style,” Hamish Bowles’s “Vogue and The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute: Parties, Exhibitions, People,” and Glenda Bailey’s “Harper’s Bazaar: 150 Years: The Greatest Moments.”
Fashion books that center on historical facts are probably the ideal ones for aspiring designers, especially those who are really learning the art in schools. Creation of modern, unique designs is usually easier when inspired by older style trends. Informative fashion books include Pierré Berge, Olivier Gabet, Pamela Golbin and Denis Bruna’s “Fashion Forward: 300 Years of Fashion,” Robin Givhan’s “The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled into the Spotlight and Made History,” and Doug Palladini’s “Vans: Off the Wall (50th Anniversary Edition).”
Our list is incomplete without books pertaining to the greatest fashion models in history. These models are the reasons why many labels have become known worldwide. It is only natural that consumers usually judge the outfit’s quality through the aesthetics of the model. For aspiring and amateur models, these books can be motivational: “Claudia Schiffer,” “Kate: The Kate Moss Book,” and “Becoming By Cindy Crawford.”
We selected “Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style” as the best fashion book. It is the most general one out of the bestsellers we discovered. People have different tastes in fashion, so this book is very relatable to various buyers. Meanwhile, you can choose the best fashion book based on your own interests. You may choose one from relevant categories such as fashion designers, photography, history, and models.