Avedon Fashion: 1944-2000 by Richard Avedon
Avedon Fashion: 1944-2000
by Richard Avedon
Seven decades of iconic fashion photography from Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Egoiste, and more.

The worlds of design and high fashion have always been closely aligned with magazines. But publishing has also been closely aligned with the business of haute couture. Publishing houses like Taschen, Assouline and Rizzoli regularly salute the most influential designers and the greatest fashion photographers with heavyweight tomes filled with eye-catching images.

Fashion books can become highly collectible. The extreme example is Sumo by Helmut Newton with AbeBooks selling a copy in 2009 for $10,867 / £ 6,500 – it was signed by Newton and from a limited edition print run of 10,000 copies. Four other copies of this massive book (the aptly named Sumo is so large it comes with a stand) have sold for prices in excess of $3,000.

This selection isn’t just photography (although the greatest fashion photographers of the 20th century are showcased below). These books examine the careers of designers like Norman Hartnell, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Coco Chanel and the French enfant terrible Jean Paul Gaultier, and provide historical insight into the development of fashion industry during the 20th century.

You will also learn about the supermodel’s perspective (Kate Moss), the influence of a rock star on fashion (David Bowie) and how costume design can influence a movie (Cecil Beaton and My Fair Lady). One thing is sure – these books are going to be easy on the eye.

(Many thanks to Caroline Bermudez for recommending many of these books.)

A Selection of Fashion Books

Skrebneski: The First Fifty Years Photographs: 1949-1999 by Robert A. Sobieszek
Skrebneski: The First Fifty Years Photographs: 1949-1999
by Robert A. Sobieszek

An out-of-print retrospective of Victor Skrebneski’s fashion and advertising photography.
Halston: An American Original by Elaine Gross
Halston: An American Original
by Elaine Gross

A tribute to Roy Halston’s work - original design sketches, patterns and runway shots.
Be Dazzled! Norman Hartnell, Sixty Years of Glamour and Fashion by Michael Pick
Be Dazzled! Norman Hartnell, Sixty Years of Glamour and Fashion
by Michael Pick

The man who dressed the Queen and helped London become a fashion center in the 1930s.
Inventive Paris Clothes 1909-1938. A Photographic Essay by Irving Penn
Inventive Paris Clothes 1909-1938. A Photographic Essay
by Irving Penn

A key 1970s fashion book inspired by Diana Vreeland’s exhibition for MOMA.
Isabel Toledo: Fashion from Inside Out by Valerie Steele & Patricia Mears
Isabel Toledo: Fashion from Inside Out
by Valerie Steele & Patricia Mears

A look at the contemporary fashion work of Cuban-born designer Toledo.
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
by Andrew Bolton and Harold Koda

An in-depth study of six collections and an interview with McQueen’s sidekick, Sarah Burton.
Chanel: The Vocabulary of Style by Jerome Gautier
Chanel: The Vocabulary of Style
by Jerome Gautier

A tribute to Gabrielle Coco Chanel - one of most influential designers of the 20th century.
Yves Saint Laurent by Florence Chenoune
Yves Saint Laurent
by Florence Chenoune

A 2010 retrospective of French couturier Yves Saint Laurent’s life and work.
Lillian Bassman: Women by Deborah Solomon
Lillian Bassman: Women
by Deborah Solomon

200+ images from this photographer, many never published since appearing in Harper’s Bazaar.
Pleats Please: Issey Miyake by Midori Kitamura
Pleats Please: Issey Miyake
by Midori Kitamura

An insight into the development of Miyake’s garments and the pleating process itself.
Gianni Versace by Richard Martin
Gianni Versace
by Richard Martin

Published to coincide with the 1997 Versace exhibition at New York’s Metropolitan Museum.
The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion by Harold Koda & Kohle Yohannan
The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion
by Harold Koda & Kohle Yohannan

An historical overview of the supermodel phenomenon, beginning with the 1940s.
Kate Moss by Mario Testino
Kate Moss
by Mario Testino

100+ images in black-and-white and color. Testino has worked with Moss for more than two decades.
Decades: A Century of Fashion by Cameron Silver
Decades: A Century of Fashion
by Cameron Silver

Silver, the owner of the Los Angeles’ fashion boutique Decades is a true fashion historian.
David Bowie Is by Victoria Broackes
David Bowie Is
by Victoria Broackes

The first book to detail Bowie’s own archive of costumes, ephemera and original artwork.
World Without Men by Helmut Newton
World Without Men
by Helmut Newton

These images are accompanied by journal-style explanations of each shot.
Balenciaga and Spain by Hamish Bowles
Balenciaga and Spain
by Hamish Bowles

Spanish designer Cristóbal Balenciaga reveals how a small fishing village influenced his work.
Rick Owens by Rick Owens
Rick Owens
by Rick Owens

Glamour meets grunge. Follow Owens from California to Paris.
Valentino: Themes and Variations by Pamela Golbin
Valentino: Themes and Variations
by Pamela Golbin

This book celebrates 45 years of the Italian designer’s remarkable career.
The Fashion Universe of Jean Paul Gaultier by Suzy Menkes
The Fashion Universe of Jean Paul Gaultier
by Suzy Menkes

Three decades of rule-breaking including Madonna’s infamous 1990 cone bra.
Prada by Miuccia Prada & Patrizio Bertelli
Prada
by Miuccia Prada & Patrizio Bertelli

A description of how Prada became one of the world’s leading fashion and design companies.
Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years by Hamish Bowles
Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years
by Hamish Bowles

A stunning catalog of the most important dresses worn during her years as first lady.
Form by Horst P Horst
Form
by Horst P Horst

A retrospective of this fashion photographer's work from 1932 to 1990. Limited edition.

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