Four Fashion Books We're Dying To Read: It's all about Vreeland, Margiela, Minimalism, and Helmut Newton

Now that school is temporarily over, I’m excited to indulge in some non-textbook reading (!!!). Some of this “non-textbook reading” includes fashion-related books. I’ve found that most of these books fall into one of four categories: The (auto)Biography, Fashion in X Period, The How-To, and The Anthology. 

If you’re thinking of expanding your reading horizons by dabbling into tomes of the fashion variety and don’t know where to start, here are four books which broke through the clutter and made their way to my reading list: 

D.V. by Diana Vreeland 
An autobiography chronicling the people and events that ultimately led Diana Vreeland to fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar and then editor-in-chief of Vogue. With Vreeland quotes like, “Why don’t you rinse your blond child’s hair in dead champagne as they do in France?’’ how could you not want to know more about her? 

Minimalism and Fashion: Reduction in the Postmodern Era by Elyssa Dimant 
I came across this book on a Scandinavian blog and it really caught my eye because I tend to be inspired by strong silhouettes and brands like Céline, Jil Sander, and Stella McCartney, i.e., adhere to a more minimalist aesthetic.  According to its publisher, it is the “first book to examine the minimalist movement in fashion.” Sure.  

Helmut Newton: SUMO by June Newton 
Ever since I saw this cover of Newton’s Illustrated and subsequently, saw the exquisite photograph Helmut Newton took of Charlotte Rampling… I’ve become a fan. The original limited edition “SUMO” book was published in 1999 and each copy was signed and numbered by Newton himself. Today, the “Best Price” on Amazon for an original is about $6,500… but FEAR NOT! For they have a 2009 re-issue (read: more economical version) of the book available for less than $100.  

Maison Martin Margiela by Maison Martin Margiela
The Belgian designer is known for his avant-garde designs, distinct 0-23 logo and elusive lifestyle. Bound in starched white muslin, the book is mostly picture-based and provides an inside look into Margiela’s mystical world. Photographs of his blonde wig jacket, hoof-toed shoes, and various exhibitions included. 

~Charmaine Li 

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