I don’t just love playing with clothes. I love reading about them too. And the people who design them. And those who write about them. And the poor folks who’ve been killed by them. Yes, there’s a book about that too. It’s called Fashion Victims, and it’s morbidly fascinating.
It’s just one of the fashion books that hits the shelves this fall. Here’s what else you should check out:
Alexander McQueen: Blood Beneath The Skin by Andrew Wilson
I didn’t appreciate Alexander McQueen when he was alive (wasn’t into fashion back then), but now I’m obsessed with his work. He was a genius. A revolutionary. A kind but tormented soul that fought to make it in a ruthless industry that eventually destroyed him.
In Alexander McQueen: Blood Beneath The Skin, Andrew Wilson paints a true, honest portrait of the late designer. With the help of McQueen’s friends and family, Wilson delves into his humble beginnings as the son of an East End taxi driver, his rise to fame and the pressures that go along with it, which led to his dependance on drugs, and his struggle to find true love with a string of boyfriends.
Wilson also examines the relationship between Mcqueen’s inner demons and his dark work, dispels common myths about the designer, and offers new insights into a genius that left us too soon. If you’re a McQueen fan too, or simply into fashion, you must pick up a copy.
Fashion Is Spinach: How To Beat The Fashion Racket
Not all great designers get the recognition they deserve. Elizabeth Hawes is mostly forgotten today, but she created one of the first American design houses in Depression-era New York. She was also a ruthless critic of fashion and its ready made styles. To Elizabeth, fashion existed only to perpetuate sales with its ever-changing, short-lived fads. Style, instead, reflected an era’s mood, and changed only when the attitudes and beliefs of a society changed.
Fashion Is Spinach is her autobiography. In it, she traces her entire career in the industry, from her beginnings as a stylist in Paris to her designer days in America. She offers us an insider’s view of how the fashion industry worked back then (although a lot is still probably true today), with its nasty practices, dubious ethics, and fickle culture.
But what makes Fashion Is Spinach so compelling is the writing style. Hawes is witty, sarcastic, and doesn’t beat around the bush. She always tells it like it is, and always makes you both laugh and think. At the same time. You’ll devour it. I did.
Available at: Amazon US
Tales From The Back Row: An Outsider’s View From Inside The Fashion Industry by Amy Odell
What’s it like being a young woman working in the fashion world? Amy Odell, editor of Cosmopolitan, spills the beans in Tales From The Back Row. She shares her encounters with celebrities, fashion gods, and gurus such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Karl Lagerfield, career advice, fun and embarrassing fashion anecdotes and her opinions about the fickle world of fashion.
Each chapter focuses on different sectors and personalities in the industry, such as celebrities, models, and even bloggers. They all provide interesting insights into the fashion world today and juicy tidbits about its protagonists. Cos that’s what we really want in the end, isn’t it?
Odell writes in her signature style: fun and witty. Makes the book flows so easily. If you need a light read for your commute to work or your upcoming holiday, give this one a go. You won’t be disappointed.
Available at: Amazon
Fashion Victims: The Dangers Of Dress Past And Present by Alison Matthews-David
We think of drop dead gorgeous clothes as deadly only for our wallets. But they can kill. And have. Many times since the beginning of time. From hats laced in mercury to entangled scarves and easily inflammable fabric Matthews-David reveals the darkest side of fashion.
A dark side that’s still alive today. We may have safer dies, but clothes can still kill us. Do you know that too many doctors don’t wash their clothes often enough, carrying dangerous bacteria and virus on them every time they visit their patients? Or that an unsafe cocktail of chemicals is released into the water every time a pair of jeans is made? Scary stuff.
Half-terrifying, half-fascinating, Fashion Victims is an eye-opener. Some of you may find it difficult to get through it because it’s written in an academic (although accessible) style, but it’s worth a try. If it helps, it’s beautifully illustrated too.
What are your favourite fashion books? Are you reading any at the moment?