DIY Fashion and Beauty: New Books for March

This month, we are taking fashion and beauty into our own hands! We have a DIY style book for you, as well as a guide to beauty tricks for women. Or if DIY beauty isn’t really your thing, you can browse our latest book on Audrey Hepburn – featuring 100 photos of Audrey which have been selected by her family, this edition offers a new and unique look at a truly elegant star of our screens. There are new books on designer label Chloe and iconic 20th century jewellery for a hit of luxury, as well as a book of up-front and personal interviews with fashion’s main players – models, photographers and, of course, designers.

Syndetics book coverChloé : attitudes / text, Sarah Mower ; creative direction, Marc Ascoli.
“This handsome volume chronicles the rise of the fashion house Chloé, a crucible of creativity for some of fashion’s most notable designers. The fashion brand Chloé may be sixty years old, but she still exudes a youthful elegance and femininity. Chloé started in 1952 when Gaby Aghion invented the revolutionary idea of luxury prêt-à-porter, taking the craftsmanship of haute couture and making it available to a wider audience. Her focus on the beautiful yet wearable gave the line currency with chic young women. Born in Egypt in 1921 and moving to Paris when she was in her twenties, Aghion dressed some of the most fashionable and powerful women of her day, including Jackie O, Grace Kelly, and Brigitte Bardot.” (abridged from library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverToss the gloss: beauty tips, tricks & truths for women 50+
“In her first book, beauty industry executive Robinson (who has served as beauty editor at Vogue) uses her experience to debunk myths and offer a straightforward, insider’s perspective behind the often indecipherable potions and lotions in our medicine cabinets. How many of us wished we understood how to read the claims and lingo on product packaging or decipher ingredients such as antioxidants, retinoids, and alpha hydroxy acids? Robinson clearly and efficiently explains it all, while providing the product advice and application tips you would expect of a woman who has devoted her life to beauty.” (abridged from Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverAudrey 100 : a rare and intimate photo collection selected by Audrey Hepburn’s family / by Ellen Fontana ; foreword by Sean Hepburn Ferrer.
“One of the most beautiful women of the 20th century, style icon, actor, model, UNICEF patron, and so much more Audrey captured the imaginations of millions around the world with her famous unforgettable face and innate and inherent grace. Photographed by most of the leading photographers of the day – Cecil Beaton, Hans Gerber, Norman Parkinson, Douglas Kirkland, among them – Audrey Hepburn’s image lives on, her style still an influence to designers and fashionistas alike. This beautiful book brings together 100 evocative and moving photographs, most iconic, some never seen before, chosen by her family and close friends. With a foreword and extended and personal captions by her sons, Sean Hepburn and Luca Dotti, this book is a collector’s dream. “Audrey 100″ also includes one limited edition framable archival photograph.” (

Syndetics book coverThe cheap chica’s guide to style : secrets to shopping cheap and looking chic / Lilliana Vazquez with Jessica Jones.
“Priceless tips and tricks to shopping on a budget, from America’s favorite frugal fashionista. Stylish bargain-hunters have been flocking to Lilliana Vazquez’s since 2008 for tips and tricks on how to shop smart, copy their favorite designer looks, and dress chic for less. Now a go-to destination for women eager for affordable fashion, the site has established Lilliana as a nationally recognized style expert. Now, in The Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style, Lilliana is spilling her secrets! Fun quizzes will help readers define their style and budget. And Lilliana lays out the best places-from stores to flash-sale sites to their own closets- to score stylish deals. Approachable and beautifully designed, The Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style is the must-have accessory for 2013 and beyond.” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book cover20th century jewelry & the icons of style / Stefano Papi & Alexandra Rhodes.
“For centuries the collecting of precious gems and the jewelry fashioned from them was the exclusive prerogative of kings and queens, emperors, popes, and maharajahs. In the aftermath of World War I an extraordinary group of women emerged who had the means to deck themselves in glittering bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings, tiaras, and brooches.  The women of the era cut their hair, wore looser-fitting clothes, and had greater freedom than before the war. The change in fashion led to a new style of jewelry–the historic gemstones were reset and new collections created … The book brings to life the worlds in which these women moved–elegant yachts, extravagant parties–and describes the details of the jewels and the jewelers (Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Harry Winston) that created the exquisite settings.” (abridged from

Syndetics book coverMade in Italy : rethinking a century of Italian design / edited by Grace Lees-Maffei and Kjetil Fallan.
“Goods made or designed in Italy enjoy a disproportionately high profile, even though, in terms of global manufacturing, Italy’s output is relatively modest. Italy’s glorious design heritage and reputation for innovation mean that goods ‘Made in Italy’, and/or designed in Italy, carry added value. Since 1945, Italian design has commanded an increasing amount of attention from design journalists, critics and consumers. But is Italian design a victim of its own celebrity? Made In Italy is the first critical study of Italian design to explore this question from the perspective of scholarly investigative chapters, analysing the significance of design from Italy and how its influence upon international design and consumerism has become so renowned and inflated by various media and design criticism.” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverTalking fashion : from Nick Knight to Raf Simons in their own words / Jan Kedves.
“Journalist Jan Kedves isn’t afraid to ask a pointed question and his subjects certainly aren’t afraid to answer. Whether it’s Bruce Weber discussing nudity, dogs and Clint Eastwood; Juergen Teller talking about daring shoots with Charlotte Rampling, Victoria Beckham and the one time she may have gone too far; or Raf Simons waxing nostalgic about his days and nights as a club kid, this collection of interviews goes beyond the latest trends to distill what makes its subjects tick. A fashion world insider in his own right, Kedves knows how to talk to models, designers, photographers and artists, sharing his own opinions and recollections as a way of drawing out even the most reticent. As a result, his conversations with the likes of Pierre Cardin, Malcolm McLaren, Rick Owens, Helmut Lang and Veruschka can feel as intimate as a late night gabfest, and every bit as fun.” (adapted from

New August Fashion

August is here with a great selection of new fashion books to tempt you!

Syndetics book coverBizarre bras : World of WearableArt / photographs by Daniel Allen, Daniel Rose and Martin de Ruyter.
“Bizarre Bra is one of the most popular and enduring categories in the annual World of WearableArt Awards Show, in which designers are free to create bras from a breathtaking range of material and styles. This book collects together the most innovative, outrageous and compelling examples of Bizarre Bras that have been entered over recent years. Here you will find bras made out of hedgehogs, old telephones and wire, human hair, chrome teapots, imitation pistols, a typewriter, kitchen utensils, cable ties, candelabras, and countless other different kinds of fabrics and materials.” (Cover)

Syndetics book coverMadame Grès : sculptural fashion / [final editing, Catherine Blake… [et al.]].
“Alix Gres (1903-93), born Germaine Emilie Krebs, was in many ways the opposite of today’s celebrity designers. She shunned interviews, obscured her personal life, and devoted herself entirely to her influential six-decade career. The sparse details Saillard, with the help of assistant curator Alexandre Samson, was able to gather for the book’s biographical essays leave Gres the woman a mystery, to be remembered best for the revolutionary designs she created by draping fabric sculpturally on the body.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverAudrey Hepburn in hats / June Marsh.
“Audrey Hepburn’s legendary style and grace redefined perceived notions of Hollywood glamour and ushered in an age of sophistication and elegance. Her legacy on screen and in fashion is undisputed and her image has become as synonymous with her fame as her films. This book celebrates Audrey Hepburn wearing a selection of her most beautiful, stylish and outrageous hats – from legendary designs such as Givenchy, Mr. John, Dior, Cecil Beaton and Balenciaga. This exquisite volume features stunning photography and accompanying text from renowned fashion writer, June Marsh.” (

Syndetics book coverElie Saab / Janie Samet.
“The designer magnifies femininity, building his fairy-tale creations with simple designs, the finest materials, delicate hand-embroidery, intricate detail, and a sophisticated fusion of cultural influences. Saab’s specialty is the ultimate dress that highlights a woman’s silhouette, making him a go-to designer for international stars and royalty—including Catherine Zeta-Jones, Beyoncé, Aishwarya Rai, Emmanuelle Béart, Marion Cotillard, Bérénice Bejo, Princess Victoria of Sweden, and Queen Rania of Jordan.” (

Syndetics book coverC.Z. Guest : American style icon : celebrating her timeless world at home, in her garden & around town / Susanna Salk.
“A treasure trove of extraordinary images celebrating the elegance and flair of style icon C.Z. Guest—a true tastemaker known for her classic, understated American look who continues to influence fashion today. Celebrated for her beauty and personal style, C.Z. Guest transcended eras to become an enduring figure of good taste, appearing on the cover of Time magazine in 1962. A grande dame of high society, she lived the good life and was photographed by such legends as Irving Penn, Cecil Beaton, John Rawlings, and Slim Aarons.” (adapted from

Syndetics book coverVintage fashion illustration : from Harper’s Bazaar 1930 to 1970 / with introduction by Marnie Fogg.
“Some of the greatest fashion illustrations ever created appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, and their styles, shapes, and colors continue to influence today’s practitioners. This stunning collection showcases more than 250 iconic images published between 1930 and 1970—including artwork from Jean Cocteau, Leon Benigni, and Jane Bixby. Whether they work with traditional pencils, crayons, watercolors, or a digital pen, fashion illustrators will find inspiration in these breathtaking designs.” (

Syndetics book cover80s fashion: from club to catwalk
“In 80s Fashion, the V&A explores one of the most diverse and exciting periods in fashion history, showcasing the work of some of the decade’s leading designers, including Vivienne Westwood, Fiorucci, Leigh Bowery, Bodymap, Rifat Ozbek, and many others. Exploring the decade’s extraordinarily creative exchange between fashion and music, this extensively illustrated book shows how fashions seen on trendsetters in the clubs of the period were interpreted for a wider audience through the striking photography and innovative graphic design of key magazines such as The Face and i-D. Casting new light on the designs of the decade, 80s Fashion includes interviews and previously unseen original material from designers’ archives.” (

Fairytales of Fashion

We have some delicious new fashion books here at the library – designer biographies written in the style of well-known fairytales, and lavishly illustrated by the designers themselves! Aesop’s fables have also been given the couture touch. Pull up a cosy chair and enjoy.

Syndetics book coverChristian Lacroix and the tale of Sleeping Beauty / Camilla Morton ; illustrated by Christian Lacroix.
“Spun magically from the threads of this much beloved fairy tale comes the enchanting memoir of fashion designer Christian Lacroix, illustrated by Monsieur Lacroix himself. Full color.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverManolo Blahnik and the tale of the elves and the shoemaker / Camilla Morton ; illustrated by Manolo Blahnik.
“Second in a series (following Christian Lacroix and the Tale of Sleeping Beauty) originated by fashion writer Morton (How To Walk in High Heels) that invites famous designers to tell their stories through fractured fairy tales – Adapted from Global Books in Print.

Syndetics book coverDiane von Furstenberg and the tale of the Empress’s new clothes.
The third book in Camilla Morton’s unique Fashion Fairy Tale Memoir series, Diane von Frstenberg and the Tale of the Empress’s New Clothes wraps the life story of the iconic designer, international jetsetter, and one-time Andy Warhol muse around one of our most beloved and enduring once-upon-a-time’ fables. Royalty and fashion collide in this delightfully fresh take on the classic Emperor’s New Clothes tale written by London-based fashion writer Morton (American Vogue, The Wall Street Journal) and art directed exclusively by Diane von Frstenberg herself-as the iconic designer helps the story’s young Empress discover all the colors, shapes, and sizes of inspiration, in a grown-up fairytale that teaches women how to feel creative and empowered. – Adapted from Global Books in Print.

Syndetics book coverBirds of a feather shop together : Aesop’s fables for the fashionable set / Sandra Bark ; illustrated by Bil Donovan.
“No fashionista will be able to resist this witty collection of Aesop-inspired tales that rewrite morality for the stylish. Covering a range of beauty and fashion topics from head to toe – and including the original fables too – this charming volume gives important life lessons a couture twist. – Adapted from Global Books in Print.

However, if a fashion blog is more your thing, I suggest these books here. Both have been recently published by popular bloggers and are filled with tips and tricks to keep you looking your best.

Syndetics book coverCupcakes and cashmere : a guide for defining your style, reinventing your space, and entertaining with ease / Emily Schuman.
“Based on Emily Schuman’s popular lifestyle blog of the same name, Cupcakes and Cashmere is the must-have guide for those looking to establish their own sense of style, organize and decorate their home, or throw an easy and stylish party. Organized by season, the book expands on Schuman’s blog by including DIY projects, organization tips, party-planning ideas, beauty how-tos, and seasonal recipes. Cupcakes and Cashmere features original material that has not been previously published on the site. With her signature photographic layouts, Emily creates a lifestyle that is chic and achievable for every reader, making this the ultimate style guide for living a fashionable life”– Provided by publisher.

Syndetics book coverThe sartorialist : closer / Scott Schuman.
After the enormous success of The Sartorialist, Scott Schuman is back with a completely new collection of beautiful images of the men and women who have caught his attention. His much-loved blog,, remains one of the most-read in the fashion world and continues to grow in popularity as Scott travels further and more widely. This book emcompasses the diverse style and visual attitude of people as far afield as Japan, Korea, London, Milan, New York, Paris, and beyond.
In The Sartorialist: Closer, Scott Schuman looks deeper and with great breadth at human style, and the way it is expressed across the world. Always reacting to an inspirational moment, the images in his new book continue to reflect Scott’s unique sensibility and vision. -Adapted from Global Books in Print.