The finest fashion books for style enthusiasts
A stylish stack of monographs, tomes and limited edition titles take pride of place on the Wallpaper* style desk. Here, we take a sartorial saunter through our favourite page-turning fashion books...
Join as us we take a sartorial saunter through the Wallpaper* style desks finest fashion books. These visually enticing volumes and educational tomes will act as elegant accompaniments for the coffee table of any style savant.
Dries Van Noten Autumn/Winter 21-22
The notion of a 10-minute, 50-model runway show suddenly seems old hat. So, what next? To showcase his A/W 2021 collection, Dries Van Noten assembled a troupe of 47 performers from the world-renowned contemporary dance companies of Belgium (namely Rosas and Ultima Vez) and the Opéra National de Paris. They were filmed over three days, writhing to Massive Attack and wearing Van Noten’s punkishly opulent clothes by Casper Sejersen. Stills from the shoot have been compiled in a newly released book designed by British studio Browns.
‘The first time I met Dries was in 2004, when he commissioned us to design a book to celebrate his 50th fashion show in Paris. He now calls that “The Golden Book,”’ the founder of Browns, artist Jonathan Ellery says. Their latest collaboration is a softcover book filled with what look like snatched frames from an elongated performance. Ellery says: ‘Our approach to this collection is a little more passive than the book we did for S/S 2021, focusing our attention on the curatorial edit and visual narrative. Aesthetically and typographically, it’s a mix of classicism meets modernism.’ It is a bewitching time capsule of people, a season – and a society – in flux. Writer: Dal Chodha
Acne Paper Book
The fashion world mourned when Acne Paper, the sublime biannual magazine published by Acne Studios in 2005, ceased printing in 2014. Now, the label has launched a lavish tome dedicated to its innovative boundary-pushing publication, one which celebrated a host of cultural disciplines and pioneered high production value and elegant art direction. The 568 page volume ‘Acne Paper Book’, edited by Thomas Persson, Acne Paper’s editor- in-chief and creative director, includes work by legendary and contemporary image makers, including Irving Penn, Sarah Moon, Jamie Hawkesworth and Viviane Sassen and contributions from leading creatives and thinkers including Kim Jones, Gillian Wearing and Hans Ulrich Obrist. For Acne Paper purists, there’s isn’t a collector’s items more covetable.
Vivienne Westwood Catwalk, by Alexander Fury
Thames & Hudson
Vivienne Westwood vanguards, unite! A veritable treasure trove of images and inspiration, Thames & Hudson-published ‘Vivienne Westwood Catwalk’ celebrates 40 years of the legendary British designers runway collections. Take a coveted seat at the catwalk of over 70 collections and delight in 1300 looks, that celebrate the historicism-rooted, renegade, punk and environmentalist aesthetic of Westwood. The volume, released in celebration of Westwood’s 80th birthday, features an introduction and collection texts by fashion critic Alexander Fury, with contributions by Westwood herself and Vivienne Westwood and her partner in life and work Andreas Kronthaler. The book is bound with the brand’s iconic tartan, first produced in 1993 and officially recognised by the Scottish register of Tartans.
Jil Sander Publishing
Creative director and husband-and wife-duo Lucie and Luke Meier have collaborated with a cohort of legendary image makers, teaming up with Joel Meyerowitz on Sander’s recent A/W 2021 campaign. Now the label has released ‘Familiarity’, a limited photographic volume, which sees five image makers, Anders Edström, Olivier Kervern, Chris Rhodes, Lina Scheynius and Mario Sorrenti, personally interpret the the Meiers’ designs. These images offer five distinct visual takes on the Sander aesthetic, which are united by Sander’s clothing. The images have been captured inside photographers’ homes and gardens, bringing a sense of intimacy to the photographic series, and a notion of familiarity to elevated fashion.
Peter Lindbergh. Azzedine Alaïa
‘We met in 1979, I believe. Ever since, Azzedine and I are hand in glove. I photographed his collections and I have countless portraits of him,’ said renowned German photographer Peter Lindbergh of his longtime friendship with Azzedine Alaïa, before he passed away in 2019. Alaïa and Lindbergh were united on many creative passions: a love for black and the celebration of the female form.
Now, a grayscale Taschen volume – launched in conjunction with the exhibition Azzedine Alaïa, Peter Lindbergh at the Fondation Azzedine Alaïa in Paris – celebrates the creative output of the two artist’s, spanning atmospheric settings including the lamp lit streets of Paris and the windswept beach of Le Touquet, and featuring models and musicians including Naomi Campbell, Kristen McMenamy, Madonna and Tina Turner. The book – a must for Alaïa or Lindbergh-obsessed bibliophiles, also features contributions from Fabrice Hergott, director of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la, photographer Paolo Roversi and Olivier Saillard, fashion historian and director of the Fondation Azzedine Alaïa.
Silicon Valley. No_Code_Life, by Tod’s
When Italian label Tod’s launched its No_Code trainer project – a line of silhouettes that adheres to technological and fabric innovation, and invites design visionaries to apply cutting-edge ideas to its designs – it demonstrated a synergy with the forward thinking mindset of Silicon Valley, and its ascendancy of unicorn companies. Now, in celebration of the famed San Francisco location, and the site of spectacuar start-ups, the label has launched a Rizzoli-published book which lenses Silicon Valley, in an alternative light, breaks through the venerated veneer of its streets.
For Silicon Valley. No_Code_Life, Tod’s enlisted Iranian-American photographer Ramek Fazel to document the daily goings on in Silicon Valley. For 10 days he roamed its roads, armed with a Rollieflex, shooting diverse portraits and panoramic views, from aerial shots of lengthy highways to employeers armed with colourful Google-branded tote bags. The result is a colourful and multifarious presentation of Silicon Valley existence, rooted in reality, instead of millennial-infused myth.
Craig Green x Jack Davison
In March 2021, London menswear designer Craig Green teamed up with photographer Jack Davison, on a poetic S/S 2021 visual set of images that captured Green’s sculptural, utilitarian and head piece-accented designs. Now, in celebration of the project, Green and Davison have launched a print media extension of the collaboration, encompassd as a limited set of set of four riso printed and saddle-stitched self-cover books, accompanied with Tyvek sheet posters, printed in a spectrum of colour variations. From midday tomorrow, 13 May 2021, a mere 30 sets of the books will be available, for free, for the public to collection from Craig Green’s space at Dover Street London.
One designer who had the ability to imbue escapism into every garment was Emilio Pucci. The Italian designer was a doyen of dramatic, pattern-splashed clothing, which also had a boundary-pushing comfortable appeal, and was sported on the ski slopes and in the chicest summer resorts. Now, a Taschen released tome celebrates the history of the print-swathed Pucci dynasty, in a volume brimming with archival images, sketches and eye-catching ephemera. Pucci, features accompanying text by fashion critic Vanessa Friedman and is wrapped in a tactile fabric cover, with a selection of archive prints abounding in abstract swirls and tropical blooms.
Her Dior: Maria Grazia’s New Voice
Rizzoli New York
During her creative tenure at Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri has made feminism an integral part of her aesthetic expression, collaborating with revolutionary female artists including Judy Chicago and Tomasina Binga and creating silhouettes that explore the multi dimensonial facets of womanhood. Now, a new publication by Rizzoli New York, brings together a host of female photographers, including Wallpaper* contributor Brigitte Niedermair, Nan Goldin, Sarah Moon and Laura Coulson, in a visual exchange exploring female identity.
‘Seeking a dialogue from the outset with these women artists, writers and activists, they themselves at times distant from me and from fashion, was party and parcel of my focus on the reasons and the situations that I believed we urgent, and that I wanted to put at the heart of my creative process,’ Chiuri explains in the volume’s Introduction.
Stazione Termini, Lookbook 2009-2021, by Niccolò Berretta
Niccolò Berretta has been drawn to the anthropological bravura of August Sander and Diane Arbus since he first started taking pictures. ‘I see their work as a sort of catalogue of human beings yet with the search for the mysterious,’ he says. In 2009 he began taking photographs of some of the one hundred and fifty million passengers that pass each year through Rome’s Stazione Termini. Now 490 of them have been brought together in a chunky book published by Drago.
The first edition includes a glossy wraparound featuring models striding the streets of Esquilino in the 15th rione wearing REDValentino’s Spring/Summer 21 collection. Between the covers, we see couples dressed in matching shiny puffa jackets, a cigar smoking man in a finely tailored navy suit, stickered suitcases, knitted leg warmers, and sunglasses pushed up onto people’s heads. ‘I do not go beyond the mirror they see themselves in every day,’ Berretta says in the introduction. This is more than just a record of quotidian style, it is an archive of a city and its people in flux. ‘An integral part of this visual process is the environment: the advertisements, the construction sites, the cars, the street signs, the scenography that speak to their time. The subtitle Lookbook 2009-2021 is an ironic reference to the world of fashion in which everything is fleeting, fast and almost does not exist.’ Writer: Dal Chodha
MSGM 10! The (in)complete Brand Anthology, by Tanya Jones
The vibrancy, pattern and eclectic flavour of Massimo Giorgetti’s MSGM is synonymous with modern Milanese design, and in celebration of the label’s tenth birthday, the brand has released a Rizzoli-published monogram, majestic in colour and warmth. The volume, which is visually inspired by a fanzine and was art directed by Giorgetti himself, features a mix of fashion-focused and personal memories, from his dogs Pane and Coda to effusive editorial images. With contributing texts from friends and collaborators including Maurizio Cattelan, super stylist Katie Grand and journalist Charlie Porter, this is a must read for any MSGM enthusiast.
Images, by Jacquemus
Simone Porte Jacquemus understands the transportive power of Instagram. The designer has long used the medium to convey the sun-drenched seduction his brand reflects, associated with the sand-lined shored of Southern France. During lockdown the designer even shot S/S 2020 digital campaign images with Bellad Hadid, Barbie Ferreira and Steve Lacy, showcasing the uplifting results on the social media channel. Now, in his second publication to date, Jacquemus has released ‘Images’, a book of his favourite 321 Instagram images, edited down from the 85,041 pictures he has stored on his phone. The publication is a soothing snapshot of summer, boasting beachside shots, architectural and food close-ups and Jacquemus-clad portraits. They capture the energetic, warm and downtime-focused essence of the brand, whether you’re browsing the book from a sun bed in its founder’s beloved hometown Marseille, or city-bound on the sofa.
Sicily, by Jil Sander
Jil Sander Publishing
We’re all in need of a touch of escapism right now, and lucky for us, Jil Sander’s Lucie and Luke Meier have just released a sun-kissed pictorial road trip around Sicily, lensed by photographer Olivier Kervern. The analogue amalgamation was first presented back in February at Milan Fashion Week at the brand’s Via Sant’Andrea exhibition space, and the sleek volume also serves up a series of portraits depicting the brand’s A/W 2020 offering. While road tripping may feel out of reach, Sicily will feel out-of-the-way enough when this book is held in the palm of your hands.
Sportmax, by Olivier Saillard
This Assouline-published volume offers a pleasingly pictorial stroll through the five decade history of the sports and casual wear-focused label Sportmax, founded in 1969 by Achille Maramotti. Sketches and advertising campaign images abound, highlighting the boldy saturated shades that define Sportmax’s aesthetic, and capture the style signatures of the creatives who anonymously worked on the brand’s collections, including Nanni Strada, Jean- Charles de Castelbajac, Odile Lançon and Guy Paulin.
Prada Catwalk, by Susannah Frankel
Thames & Hudson
When it comes to a Prada catwalk show, fans of the Milanese label delight in decoding the various archive Prada-isms which appear in each collection, be it S/S 1996’s icky ‘Formica’ prints, S/S 2000’s tessellated lipstick pattern, a heavy brown shoe or a pleated knee length skirt. Now, a new tome houses all of the brand’s catwalk collections in one place, from Miuccia Prada’s debut A/W 1988 runway offering, with its school girl simplicity and utilitarian tailoring, to her S/S 2019 collection, boasting bourgeois takes on its signature nylon fabric, chubby Alice bands and swathes of grunge green satin. The Thames & Hudson published volume, written by fashion critic Susannah Frankel offers commentary on each collection featured, and boasts over 1,300 illustrations, making it the perfect printed tool for Prada fans everywhere, vying to decode the designer’s famed aesthetic, her obsessions and eccentricities and the brand’s boundary-breaking sensibility.
Tokyo Trance, by Cecilie Bahnsen and Josefine Seifert
‘I feel there is something cinematic and poetical seeing my dresses on Tokyo streets,’ says Danish designer Cecilie Bahnsen of the theme of her latest publication, which seems Instagram-cast Japanese modes Natsumi Sekine, Macoto Tanaka and Megumu wearing her cloud-light, quilted and delicately floral embellished designs around the capital’s streets. This image-focused volume, lensed by Josefine Seifert – conventionally a travel photographer – features atmospheric snaps of Tokyo’s backstreets, from the dense electrical cables and blooming roses which festoon its suburban passages, to its tile-lined subways and escalators. Ethereal yet everyday, intimate yet expansive, it offers an insider’s peek into the city which Copenhagen-based Bahnsen has such an affinity with, in terms of Japan’s famed focus on simplicity, craftsmanship and functionality. ‘In a sense it’s about going back to the starting point of my inspiration and the place where my collection first found a home in the world,’ she adds.
Tokyo Trance is available exclusively at Dover Street Market with any Cecilie Bahnsen purchase across all stores
Chanel: The Impossible Collection, by Alexander Fury
It’s fitting that this clamshell-cased tome, measuring nearly fifty centimeters in length, is purchased with a complimentary pair of white gloves. For ‘Chanel: The Impossible Collection’ is a bookshelf treasure equal to the house’s signature bouclé tweed suit or its 2.55 handbag. This enormous edition is a tribute to the famed Parisian maison; its glossy pages packed with fashion show shots, magazine editorials, newspaper cuttings, illustrations and portraits. As part of the volume, author and fashion critic Alexander Fury has also selected 100 iconic looks that represent the house, from the Little Black Dress to the day suit. ‘Let them copy. My ideas belong to everyone. I refuse no one’. Gabrielle Chanel, told The New York Times in January 1971. It’s hard to refuse this book too.
Fashion Central Saint Martins, by Hywel Davies, and Cally Blackman
Thames & Hudson
Alexander McQueen, Phoebe Philo, Wallpaper* October issue Guest Editor Hussein Chalayan: some of the most lauded, experimental and innovative designers in the world began their fashion lives in the hallowed halls of Central Saint Martins in London. ‘Fashion Central Saint Martins’ – published by Thames & Hudson and edited by the school’s programme director of fashion, Hywel Davies, and Cally Blackman, lecturer in fashion history and theory – takes a bold, collaged and archival amble through the art school’s fashion history, which began in 1938, when six years after its fashion school was founded by Muriel Pemberton, it began teaching fashion design and drawing.
Its colourful, cut-and-paste pages are divided into decades, allowing the reader to party alongside the school’s Blitz Kids Eighties alumni, like journalist Hamish Bowles and John Galliano before touring into the 2010’s, the era of Craig Green, Charles Jeffrey and Molly Goddard. Expect pages packed with unseen student work, essays from guest writers including Sarah Mower and Judith Watt, and intimate insight into the student lives of some of fashion’s most important figures today.
LeGaspi, by Rick Owens
Rizzoli New York
‘It’s me fetishizing him through a fanboy filter’ says Rick Owens of the subject of his latest Rizzoli New York release, dedicated to the work and aesthetic of 70s unsung design hero Larry LeGaspi, who created pioneering looks for musical behemoths including KISS, LaBelle and George Clinton. Owens’ men’s and women’s Glam Rock-ready A/W 2019 collection was also dedicated to the designer and featured sinched streamlined tailoring, platform boots and plenty of stage-ready make up.
For the first ever book documenting LeGaspi’s work, Owens had unprecedented access to his partner’s archives – LeGaspi died of Aids in 2001 – and the book is an amalgam of archive backstage imagery, tour posters and sketches, interspersed with newly Owens-lensed images of LeGaspi’s designs, alongside commentary from Patti LaBelle, André Leon Talley and Pat Cleveland. ‘Larry introduced a camp ferocity to the mainstream and helped set a lot of kids like me free,’ Owens adds. We urge you to get introduced too. §