I'm off on holiday and will be back in early November. Until then, I leave you in the company of some fabulous ladies...I hope you enjoy the posts they have put together! See you soon! xx
Hello everyone! I am Ada of Classiq and I am happy to be guest blogging on Rachel's beautiful blog while she's away on her European vacation.
I love a good fashion read and I have the feeling you do too. I like to go deeper into the history of a fashion house to discover its values, into the lives of my favourite designers to understand a little better what drove their creative force. But buying a fashion title online can be a difficult and tricky task, so that's why I thought I would share some of my favourite fashion books I own and highly recommend, hoping you will find this little guide helpful.
My designer preferences may vary from season to season, but there are some who will always remain my favourites and the first three of those who have a special place in my heart are undoubtedly Coco Chanel, Cristóbal Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent. Coco Chanel was the first designer to impose style over fashion. She was committed to modernity, she had a visionary mind, her designs were of a striking innovation, never ceasing to shape the future. The book Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life by Justine Picardie, lavishly illustrated with photographs of iconic outfits and personal portraits from Chanel’s private albums, is a thorough insight into the life of the woman and of the couturier Coco Chanel.
One of the most valuable books in my collection is Balenciaga and Spain by Hamish Bowles. It's impossible to put into words my fascination for Balenciaga. His passion for fashion, for designing, cutting and sewing the fabric into perfect tailoring, for experimenting with structure and form ... I can not think of haute couture without thinking of Balenciaga. This is more than a fashion book, it's an art book, a journey through the masterful work of the greatest couturier, and through the history and culture of Spain, which never ceased to inspire him. Balenciaga by Pierre Arizzoli-Clemental and Miren Arzalluz and Cristóbal Balenciaga: The Shaping of a Master by Miren Arzalluz are also high on my wish list.
I believe there are two designers who forever changed the face of fashion: Coco Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. An interesting thing is that the only designers that Yves Saint Laurent acknowledged to have left their marks on their times and profession were Chanel and Balenciaga. He was the third one. I think Pierre Bergé's words describe best Saint Laurent's invaluable heritage he left: "He believed only in style." The book Yves St Laurent by Farid Chenoune, beautifully presented, is a wonderful retrospective on the designer's work, including a full and richly illustrated chronology, the essential YSL pieces he invented, the birth of the 'Rive Gauche' style, iconic photos taken by renowned photographers of the designer.
Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Jackie O, these are among the first names that spring into our mind when we think of the heights of style. But I would add one more name here: Cary Grant. Cary Grant: A Celebration of Style is another book I deeply cherish. Richard Torregrossa's work is part biography, part style guide, and what I loved the most about it is that, first, by revealing Cary's complex character, it has helped me understand just how he was able to always look impeccable and, second, it inspires you to develop your own style. I think we can all learn something from Cary's sartorial philosophy and from this book: let's not forget that style comes more naturally for men.
The Sartorialist Closer is the latest addition to my fashion library, joining the first book The Sartorialist. Scott Schuman remains my favourite street style photographer, not because I love all the looks he shoots, I don't, but because he is a fine observer of our times, because of his unique vision in capturing self-expression, the individual style of people around the world. I think the street remains fashion's greatest source of inspiration. Of course there is always his blog to enjoy, but it's so much nicer to have his selective work on paper.
I hope you've enjoyed my recommendations and that they will be of use to you at some point. And thank you, Rachel, for having me over.