This month, our new books have a focus on decadence and luxury. Revel in the luxury of Alexander McQueen or Balenciaga, or swoon over entire books of shoes, dresses and little black dresses. Alexa Chung’s book, It, is a real treat for the eyes and you can even plan your dream shopping trip to Paris! With our new fashion selections for December, you’ll have your Christmas wishlist sorted in no time.
The complete book of shoes / Marta Morales.
“Every fashion season, designers create not only a clothing collection but also a full array of complementary footwear, sometimes working collaboratively with a shoe designer. The styles featured in Big Book of Shoes are direct from the runway. The book organizes shoes by designer, with an introductory paragraph about their work and in particular the shoes shown. Labels show the collection and season. Styles include sandals, flats, wedges, pumps, platforms, slingbacks, gravity-defying heels, boots and more. Big Book of Shoes is like a window-shopping trip down the chicest streets of the world’s fashion capitals. Large photographs display dozens of shoes in all their glory, their details vividly revealed. Hand stitches, leather grain, patent shine, suede softness. Leopard spots and alligator scales. Buckles and buttons, zippers and chain, studs and straps. Ribbons and bows. Anklets and cuffs. Fringes, feathers and fur. Silver, gold, copper, brass. Wood, acrylic, steel. The range of designs reveals the astonishing creativity and craftsmanship found at the highest levels of fashion.” (Library catalogue)
Cristóbal Balenciaga / Susan Irvine.
“In 1936, Cristobal Balenciaga opened a fashion house in Paris, after fleeing the Spanish civil war; within a couple of seasons he had raised fashion to the level of art. Christian Dior called Balenciaga ‘the master of us all’, while Coco Chanel claimed that he alone was ‘a couturier in the truest sense of the word …the others are simply fashion designers’. In the Fifties he revolutionised women’s silhouette, experimenting with the semi-fitted shape, the sack dress, the cocoon and the babydoll. His innovative designs were famously easy to wear, with one diplomat’s wife quipping that she could play golf in her Balenciaga gown. In the Sixties, despite the waning power of couture, he created some of his most imaginative clothes, culminating in the bold, fluid lines of his last two collections. Always something of an enigma, he preferred to let his clothes speak for themselves. Vogue, the international fashion bible, has charted the careers of designers through the decades. Its unique archive of photographs, taken by the leading photographers of the day from Cecil Beaton to Mario Testino, and original illustrations, together with its stable of highly respected fashion writers, make Vogue the most authoritative and prestigious source of reference on fashion.” (Library catalogue)
Little black dress / André Leon Talley ; photographs by Adam Kuehl.
“A celebratory tribute to the iconic little black dress and its deeply resonant cultural and social significance in the modern era … Features an impeccable group of more than 80 dresses from many of the most eminent fashion houses” (Book jacket)
You are what you wear [electronic resource] : what your clothes reveal about you / Jennifer Baugartner.
“Most every woman has found herself with a closet full of too many clothes or surrounded by brand-new items that somehow never get worn. Instead she gets stuck wearing the same few familiar pieces from a wardrobe that just doesn’t feel “right”. Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner argues that all those things are actually manifestations of deeper life issues. What if you could understand your appearance as a representation of your inner unresolved conflicts and then assemble a wardrobe to match the way you wish to be perceived? In this fashion guide that is like no other, Dr. Baumgartner helps readers identify the psychology behind their choices, so they can not only develop a personal style that suits their identity but also make positive changes in all areas of life.” (Library catalogue)
The hundred dresses : the most iconic styles of our time / Erin McKean ; illustrated by Donna Mehalko.
“Like any 100-best list, a book of iconic dresses invites potential quibbles with its selection criteria. Yet McKean and illustrator Mehalko have created a book so charming that any critic is completely disarmed. One of the dresses has to be the infamous curtain dress worn by Scarlett O’Hara, but McKean insightfully notes that “[t]he defining characteristic of the Scarlett O’Hara is not the fabric of the dress but the determination of the wearer.” Mehalko’s illustrations, which have an equal partnership with the text, evoke the whimsy of a Cher headdress that reminds us of the Oscar moment without being too specific. McKean defines some clear categories: single-moment dresses (The Mondrian, The J-Lo), universal dress shapes (The Sack, the Baby Doll Dress, dress “types”), and fashion moments that have become categories: “The Dorothy Dress is any dress in which you find yourself having an unexpected adventure.” “The Pretty Woman dress is any dress that serves both to hide one’s origins and to bring out some essential truth of character.” In all its delightful chattiness, the book has something intelligent to say about fashion as representation and nostalgia. As McKean writes: “You can use this book to help you decide what stories you want to embody.” (Adapted from Publisher Weekly)
It / Alexa Chung.
“Fashion muse, model, Fuse News cohost, and British “it girl” Chung’s first book is heavy on style and charm but light on substance. She brings would-be admirers (and current fans who follow her on street style blogs and social media) into her world with this combined style guide, memoir, and scrapbook. Filled with doodles, personal photos, lists, and discussions of her sources of inspiration, Chung lightly sketches a portrait of her universe in an engaging voice. The majority of the book is given to random musings about fashion, with Chung naming Annie Hall, Gwyneth Paltrow in the The Royal Tenenbaums, and Edie Sedgwick as just a few of her influences. Of Paltrow’s portrayal of Margot Tenenbaum, Chung muses, “I love her side-parted bob and preppy Lacoste dresses.” Elsewhere in the book, Chung offers odd pronouncements, such as, “How to rage: Get a balloon and a best friend. Go to a festival in a desert. Be 24.” Die-hard fans will no doubt embrace this slim, whimsical offering, or delight in receiving it as a gift.” (Adapted from Publisher Weekly)
Alexander McQueen, working process / photographs by Nick Waplington.
“Documents the process behind the creation of the 2009 women’s ready-to-wear show ‘The Horn of Plenty!’” (Library catalogue)
Fashion insiders’ guide : Paris / Carole Sabas ; illustrated by Caroline Andrieu.
“The Fashion Insider’s Guide to Paris is a carefully curated compendium of the current hotspots, classic haunts and hidden gems of one of the world’s greatest fashion destinations.” (Library catalogue)