Friday, January 13, 2012

Fab Fashion Books!

I LOVE books! I'm lucky enough to be given loads of amazing fashion and music books from fab friends, plus I often use this great UK website The Book Depository, to buy myself very reasonably priced books - free postage too! My sister took this pic of one of my book shelves - this houses barely a quarter of the books I have piled up in every available surface - between stacks of glossy mags! Inspired by my sister's bookie blogs (here), I wanted to post on some fab fashion books I have been given or borrowed lately. 

Kate Moss by Mario Testino

This book was obviously a must-have for me and I bought it for myself straight away! I am such a nerd that I have rarely dipped into it as I don't want to finish it too quickly!  This book is an homage to Testino's friend and muse, a treasure trove of some of Kate's best photographs, from casual & candid snaps to haute couture & high fashion. Many of these pics belong to Testinos' private collection and have never been seen. “I met Kate very early on. Shortly after her first Galliano show I went backstage to congratulate her, only to find her crying: she was disappointed that she had only been given one outfit to model in the show. My answer to her was this: “In life there are perfumes and colognes. You need to use lots of cologne as the scent fades away; with a perfume you just use a drop and it lasts all night. You are a perfume, you will go on and on.” Little did I know just how true that would become! And that I had made a friend for life. 

Undressed by Stacey Gregg 

As my business partner and I are starting our own label (watch this space!), I have just borrowed this book from her which looks very interesting. Author and Magazine Editor Stacey Gregg interviews some of our best (New Zealand) design luminaries such as Kate Sylvester, Karen Walker, World, Nom D, Zambesi, Blanchet and Marilyn Sainty about got their start in the industry, plus inspirations, influences and personal anecdotes. Click here for a review from Lucire.

Amazing Face by Zoe Foster

This book is a brand spanking new Christmas present from my sister, Bananameet-cute. She said she has pored through it already to get some great make up tips.  Having worked in the industry and having many fab makeup artists friends, I like to think I'm fairly schooled on great tops, but this book has some fabulous new tricks and ideas! A must read for make-up junkies! It's a great book to dip into. 

Blow by Blow by Detmar Blow

One of my dearest friends Ally Grrrl (see her fab fashion, architecture & art Blog here) stays with my every New Year and sneakily leave me a fabulous gift upon leaving. This year we trawled Auckland town for a book she was determined to buy, to no avail after trying one of my favorite local 'arty' bookstores, Unity Books. "Why not try The Book Depository" I suggested." I need it now!" she said. I understand that - often I will see a book reviewed or in a store and need it in my hands THAT SECOND! Plus as she was traveling back to Sydney I assumed she wanted a great read for the way home. then I found it swathed in silver ribbon the morning of her departure - the little minx!  
1980s Fashion Print by Marnie Fogg

As a child of the 80's, I was thrilled to receive this book from one of my stylish male friends for my birthday. My fashion icons were Annie Lennox, Alannah Currie (from the Thompson Twins - a Kiwi!), Daisy Duke and Sheena Easton and pinned to my wall I had posters of Simon le Bon and George Michael. Although I grew up in a town of 40,000, I can still identify with the fashion and primary school days depicted in the fantastic Kiwi movie 'Boy', set in rural New Zealand in 1984. Check out the trailer here. Hilarious, and a must see!

Decade of I-Deas by I-D magazine

I loved British style bible mags I-D magazine and The Face during my teenage years of the 80s, and beyond (until Jason Donovan got The Face bankrupted - boo). Published in 1990 and dedicated to 'youth culture' of the UK, the mag started as a type-written fanzine by designer and former Vogue art director Terry Jones in 1980. Over the years the magazine has evolved into a fashion and style Bible yet kept it's edgy 'cool' cred. This book is a compilation from I-D magazine of he fashion and music trends, movers & shakers and style arbiters of the 1980s including Buffalo, Ragamuffin, New Romantics, Neneh Cheery, Boy George, Patrick Cox, Comme des Garçons, John Galliano, Malcolm McLaren & Vivienne Westwood.

The Beautiful  Fall by Alicia Drake

This was another gift from a great friend, for my birthday last year. Unfortunately I am still not finished (my addiction to magazines, blogging, movies and TV has serious repercussions on my book reading, despite having an amazing library!) It is a fascinating read about he lives of Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld from their childhoods and how they entered the fashion industry in Paris in the 50's and beyond At the moment I am reading about the young YSL and Karl, and YSl's relationship and subsequent heavy reliance on Svengali-esque boyfriend  Pierre Bergé, who he ended up staying with for . I love reading about the painfully shy Yves and his muses - the fabulous Betty Catroux, and Loulou de la Falaise - gallivanting about the Left Bank, Marrakesh, London and New York  sipping cocktail and generally being fabulous.

The Sartorialist by Scott Shuman

A marvelous Christmas present a few years back from my sister and her partner. A photographer of street style, Scott has the most amazing eye. Scott Schuman began by snapping pics of people that he met on the streets of New York - not unlike the legendary  Bill Cunningham (if you have not seen this film on Bill, you must! Bill is amazing and adorable!). Then he started his blog, and the set is history! This is another brilliant book to dip in and out of as you peruse the streets of Florence, Milan, Paris and New York with the Sartorialist.

Unseen "Vogue": The Secret History of Fashion Photography by Robin Derrick & Robin Muir

Collected from the archives of one of my favourite mags, British Vogue, this book is a compilation of unseen, vetoed, cut, culled photos & outtakes that never saw the light of day. These pics include an array of noted models and photographers including Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Sophie Dahl, Irving Penn, Mario Testino, Cecil Beaton, Guy Bourdin, David Bailey and more. 

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

An oldie but a goodie! A searing look at the behind the scenes through the eyes of fresh faced Andrea Sachs, a journalism grad working as a  PA to high profile fashion Editor Miranda Priestly at a major fictional fashion publication akin to Vogue. (Tellingly author Lucy used to work at Condé Nast as a PA to Anna Wintour) This book will strike a chord with anyone who has ever been a secretary or Personal Assistant cow-towing to condescending, unfeasible, demeaning and often ridiculous demands of a ego maniacal boss. I enjoyed the movie of the book (see the trailer here) & the depictions of Andrea, co-PA Emily and Miranda -  but prefer the book, which obviously has more fleshed out characters, especially that of Andrea's teacher boyfriend Alex, and live-wire best friend Lily.


To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? By Lucy Siegle 

Given to me by a clever and fashionable greenie friend,  this book as an expose on the unsightly side of the fashion industry - exploitation of garment workers, fair trade, animal welfare and ethical products. I am yet to read it as it will likely depress me, but is something we should all be aware of. Sometimes you need to face the yucky stuff. See a review of the book from The Guardian here.  Lucy is also the Ethical Living columnist for The Guardian UK.  


  1. Awesome, I love hearing about new books! Am VERY interested in that 80s prints one. I'm glad you're enjoying Amazing Face. I have to buy it for myself, I'm obsessed with it!


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