Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fashion books that can be gifted for Christmas

Valentino: Mirabilia Romae

There isn’t a fashion lover out there who wouldn’t love to spend just one evening in a Valentino design. This book offers an insight into the inspirations of creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli and their mutual love of Rome, the Eternal City, detailing how they’ve worked together to inject new life into the fashion house since taking the helm in 2008.
£165, available at Net-A-Porter

Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue

This tome was first published in 2002, at which time Grace Coddington was relatively unknown. Since then, she's unwittingly found fame thanks to her scene-stealing appearance in The September Issue. It's a beautiful collection of the British stylist's most breath-taking shoots from her years spent working at both British and American Vogue and includes anecdotes from her collaborations with such legends as Cecil Beaton and Irving Penn.
£100, available at Telegraph Bookshop

Kate: The Kate Moss Book

Kate Moss is a phenomenom like no other. This book, compiled by the model herself, celebrates her seminal career, which began when she was just 14 years old and spotted by Storm Models founder Sarah Doukas at JFK airport. The 25 years that followed saw Moss become an icon of style and one of the most recognised faces in the world. A must-have for any fashion fan, and fascinating even for those who aren't.
£50, available at Telegraph Bookshop
kate moss

Karl Lagerfeld: Fendi 50 Years

It's hard to believe that Karl Lagerfeld has worked at Fendi for half a century, the longest partnership between a designer and a luxury fashion house in history. This is more than just a book - not that we'd expect anything less from the man who has dictated fashion for so many years - it's a compilation of exclusive interviews, recorded conversations, personal sketches and DVDs of his short films, through which we discover some of his earliest and fondest memories of the past five decades. A real treat.
£100, available at Net-A-Porter

Giambattista Valli by Giambattista Valli

Giambattista Valli may have only founded his eponymous label in 2005 but in 10 short years he has become one of the world's foremost designers of beautiful, ethereal gowns and cutting-edge silhouettes. Released in 2013, this gorgeous, weighty compendium offers insight into his design process, show preparations and details of his lushly complex fabrics.
£60, available at Telegraph Bookshop

Becoming by Cindy Crawford

On the eve of her 50th birthday, Cindy Crawford saw fit to chronicle her outstanding career as one of the world's foremost models. Becoming is a collection of 150 images from her over-25-year career, as well as some never-before-seen photographs from her personal archive, alongside stories about her professional and personal evolution.
£35, available at Telegraph Bookshop
cindy crawford

Dior by Avedon

Photographer Richard Avedon's relationship with the house of Dior was long and storied, and his images of the maison's clothes endure to this day. This newly-released book celebrates the partnership by teaming Avedon's striking photographs for Dior with original sketches by the house's eponymous founder Christian Dior. A little piece of fashion history on your coffee table.
£110, available at Amazon

Lanvin: I Love You by Alber Elbaz

This book, published in 2014, is even more poignant considering the recent departure of creative director Alber Elbaz from the famed Parisian fashion house. He is one fashion's most transformative designers working today, and wrenched Lanvin from a sleepy couture house to a ready-to-wear heavyweight. Definitely worth a spot on your bookshelf.
£47.50, available at Telegraph Bookshop

Oscar de la Renta: His Legendary World of Style

The world lost a legend when Oscar de la Renta passed away in 2014. This book by American Vogue's Andre Leon Talley tells the story of his half-century reign through 70 unique dresses and insights from his many, many friends.
£35, available at Telegraph Bookshop
oscar de la renta

Louis Vuitton Windows

Louis Vuitton's window displays are a feast for the eyes. Masterminded by Faye McLeod and her creative super-force of a team, each is planned meticulously and executed with the help of the world's greatest craftsmen. From giant ostriches to creatures made from Vuitton's famous bags, this book is a window (excuse the pun) into a part of the industry that we rarely see the working of. And we promise you'll want McLeod's job by the time you've finished leafing through this epic love letter to creativity.
£550, available at Net-A-Porter

Females who are designers of menswear

Fashion graduate Grace Redgrave is a tomboy who rates some of her best friends as blokes. Growing up on an organic winery near Cambridge in the Waikato, her parents taught her the importance of sustainability. The Massey University fashion graduate has designed her final year collection with these driving themes in mind. Winner of two of the fashion school's top awards – one for design and innovation, the other for technical expertise – Redgrave says her collection was "inspired by the brotherhood of manhood".
One of three top fashion graduates at Massey University this year, the 22-year-old's collection has a story behind it, notably the journey of four friends to build a gravity-pulled vehicle to enter in the soap-box derby competition. Tailored garments are matched with scribbled prints and embroidery, hand-drawn screen prints and secret messages. Pointing to a large pattern on the wall of the university's exhibition centre, she also used zero-waste printmaking techniques for each garment – in other words, each pattern was cut from one piece of paper; similarly, the jackets she designed were cut from one bolt of cloth.
Redgrave's philosophy to make zero-waste garments is time-consuming and fiddly. Showing a jacket with no side seam or shoulder seam, she says such ideas create more work. "I have always loved fashion but I was always concerned about how to design and create using ethical and sustainable solutions."
Megan Stewart's collection was inspired by a "bleak look at TV culture."
Photography | Chloe Ann Ramsamy
It's a natural fit for the 22-year-old to design menswear. "I understand men better. I've always had a lot of male friends and I've been intrigued by men and the adventures they go on."
Today wearing black-and-white-spotted trousers and a black jacket, she says she usually wears pants. Growing up, her mother wouldn't let her wear pink. Like the boys in her soap-box derby story, the fashion graduate is also adventurous. Once she packs up her final year collections and leaves Wellington, Redgrave has organised a four-month trek – solo – through Australia's Outback, where she hopes to be inspired by Aboriginal culture and traditions. She plans to return to study a Masters in Fashion Design next year, and the ultimate plan is to take her zero-waste ideas to India, where she would like to work.
Megan Stewart laughs that she "was such a TV kid", and her final year collection is a bleak look at our TV culture. "I love doing my collections on the bad things in our lives."
Originally from Auckland, she won awards for innovation and creativity, and the best use of knitted garments. Her final collection is inspired by pop culture images, particularly those by the American photographer David LaChapelle. Designing four looks, the eye-catching pieces are her polyester weave jacket printed with dramatic pop art images, and a tailored vest made out of lycra also featuring pop art.
Stewart shows her ability to design avant garde with such pieces. But she also has a talent for commercial design – her orange merino knit pantsuit, black dress and embroidered check one-piece are wearable, everyday pieces.
Sarah Parker also won two awards, one for exceptional research and design. It's an honour to get such a gong, particularly when the winner of the same award two years ago, Sean Kelly, went on to win Project Runway last year.
The 22-year-old has the day off from her job at Wellington's Rembrandt Suits, where she is the co-ordinator of its made-to-measure section. Originally from Nelson, her collection explores the ideas of fantasy and escapism in a world plagued by disaster. Inspired by Franck Bohbot's images of the Parisian fair Foire du Trone, the collection is a vehicle for evading reality. "I wanted to create a fun fantasyland where people could escape from the everyday. I did want to have a sense of humour about it, and to make it fun and lighthearted."
Taking aspects from Bohbot's images, she printed her fantastical images on silk twill and cotton drill. "I had in my mind the idea of the playground ride." She imagines her unisex puffer jackets appealing in Europe and Japan. "I'm not sure that every guy would wear the puffer jacket," says Parker, who also spent six weeks on an internship at Karen Walker's headquarters in Auckland last year.
Fashion school lecturer Sue Prescott is understandably proud of the students' talent. "Grace has raw energy for creating commercial design with sustainable methods. Sarah has a very unafraid approach to design, colour and silhouette and is an endless source of creative and innovative ideas."