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The Best Fashion Books Of All Time


While the world of fashion may feel like it’s moving at an incredibly fast pace that most of us can barely keep up with, it always feels good to look back at specific fashion moments or individuals that influenced style today.

If you’re interested in slowing down and gaining more in-depth knowledge about different realms of the fashion world, these 7 books are some of the best to start with.

Dress [with] Sense by Christina Dean, Hannah Lane and Sofia Tarneberg

How do we sustainably produce and consume clothes? Published by Hong Kong-based environmental NGO Redress, the guide offers advice from inspirational figures that champion the sustainability movement on ways we can reduce our carbon footprint.

In this book, you can find practical tips on how to cultivate a sustainable wardrobe every step of the way, from buying, wearing, caring, and disposing of – all the while dressed in style.

Vivienne Westwood by Vivienne Westwood and Ian Kelly

Though many mourn her abrupt passing, Dame Vivienne Westwood will forever live in our hearts – as well as in her memoir. The fashion designer, activist, and co-creator of punk reveals the extravagant events that shaped her illustrious career in this fantastic book.

Co-authored by award-winning biographer Ian Kelly, this page-turner reveals the emergence of punk in 1970s Britain and its consequent spread to fashion lovers of all ages.

Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes by Dana Thomas

Our society’s relationship with clothes has always been of more, more, and more, but fashion and culture journalist Dana Thomas warns us against ruthless and mindless consumption.

This investigative work takes us across the world to conversations with ambitious designers and companies whose innovations seek to provide more sustainable alternatives to producing and consuming fashion. This book is an urgent wake-up call for fashion aficionados and designers alike about the environmental harms of mass-produced fashion.

Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon by Iris Apfel

In the sea of millennials and Gen Z’s dancing away on TikTok and Instagram, Iris Apfel stands out with her shocking white hair, brightly coloured glasses, and just as bright a personality. But the 101-year-old only recently became a social media influencer with a million followers thanks to her background as a businesswoman, interior designer, and fashion icon.

In her book Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon, she displays her accumulation of musings, observations, and notes on fashion and style.

Battle of Versailles by Robin Givhan

Five American designers faced off against their French counterparts in the fall of 1973 at an international fashion show, an event that famously became known as the Battle of Versailles. Nobody had expected America’s win, as French couture has long been a cornerstone of high fashion, acting as a trendsetter for other designers to follow.

Pulitzer Prize winner Robin Givhan provides a well-researched account of this historical event, detailing the moment American fashion stepped foot onto the global stage.

Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Lustre by Dana Thomas

Have you ever wondered how fashion giants such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Chanel came to be? Many came from humble beginnings as small, family-owned businesses, yet they have survived many hardships. Once exclusive shops that catered only to the wealthy and prestigious in Europe, these brands have since expanded their businesses to global economic powerhouses seen in every major city.

In this book, Dana Thomas details just how these fashion houses withstood the test of time to become the pinnacles of fashion that we know and love today.

The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir by André Leon Talley

Best known for his role as Vogue’s fashion news director in the 1980s, André Leon Talley built an unbreakable legacy even after his death. Although he has passed away, his legacy lives on, from tributes from friends and his ideas immortalised within the pages of this book. 

The Chiffon Trenches encapsulates what it is like to work in the beautiful yet cutthroat industry that is fashion and is filled with candid confessions and anecdotes, experience through his eyes the past 50 years of fashion journalism.

Final Note

No matter your level of knowledge when it comes to the fashion world, we can all agree that the individuals and historical moments that shaped fashion as we know it are deeply fascinating. If you’re looking to deepen your knowledge and appreciation for fashion or are just on the hunt for a captivating read, these books surely will not disappoint.

Lucy Coleman

Lucy Coleman is a freelance writer and fashion enthusiast hailing from Edinburgh. She discovered her knack for both style and writing while studying at university and decided to pursue her passions thereafter. When she’s not going through racks of clothing at different shops in her spare time, Lucy enjoys listening to music, writing stories at cafés, and catching up to her favourite shows on Netflix.

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