Living the life more fabulous: New fashion and beauty books

1930s Fashion

Our favourites this month include beauty vlogger Tricia Cusden’s beauty and lifestyle guide for older women, a new book on fashion embroidery and a close-up look at the designs of Charles James. For vintage fashion fans we have shiny new volumes on 1920s and 1930s fashion, as well as a glamorous new edition on the American fashion runway. This selection of new fashion and beauty will definitely have you living the life more fabulous!

Syndetics book coverLiving the life more fabulous : beauty, style & empowerment for older women : a handbook / Tricia Cusden.
“We are the first generation to expect to live into advanced old age, so my intention is to show you the very best ways to achieve the goal of a stylish, healthy, happy and satisfying ‘final great adventure.”
At the age of 65 Tricia was fed up of being overlooked by the beauty industry. So she decided to take matters into her own hands by founding Look Fabulous Forever, a make-up company aimed at older women and began a vlog. Living the Life More Fabulous will cover topics from beauty, confidence, health and give advice on how to live an engaged life and keeping an active mind.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAmerican runway : 75 years of fashion and the front row / Booth Moore and the Council of Fashion Designers of America ; foreword by Diane von Furstenberg.
“New York Fashion Week has served many purposes throughout its long history, but it has always remained at the center of the American fashion world. Now, this illustrious history is told as it’s never been told before, in a book packed with designer interviews, backstage ephemera, and exclusive photographs culled from all 75 years of New York Fashion Week. American Runway will bring to life the people, places, and over-the-top runway productions of New York Fashion Week–and will sate the appetites of die-hard fashion fans and casual fashionistas alike.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFashion embroidery : embroidery techniques and inspiration for haute-couture clothing / Jessica Jane Pile.
“Add a unique touch to your clothes with this inspirational guide to couture embroidery and embellishment. Whether you’re interested in adding monogrammed initials to your snuggly bathrobe, stitching a flower on your favorite jacket, or adding sparkling beads to a new dress, this beautifully illustrated book shows you how. It features hand-drawn designs, catwalk photographs, and step-by-step guides, so it’s perfect for beginners looking to personalize their own clothes, as well as more experienced embroiderers who want to apply new techniques to different fabrics.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCharles James, portrait of an unreasonable man : fame, fashion, art / Michèle Gerber Klein.
“Inspired by the discovery of long-overlooked interviews conducted just before his death, this is the first biography of the visionary fashion designer Charles James. This portrait of the life and times of Charles James draws on the glamour of Europe in the 1930s, and the dazzle of New York City from the ’40s through the ’70s as it travels with James from his birth to privilege in England in 1906 and follows his career through his complex and turbulent relationships with exceptional women such as Elsa Schiaparelli and Eleanor Lambert, ending with his penurious death in New York’s fabled Chelsea Hotel. As engrossing as a novel, as dramatic as grand opera, James’s story will provoke, rivet, and inspire.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe beauty of dirty skin : the surprising science of looking and feeling radiant from the inside out / Whitney Bowe, MD.
“Internationally renowned dermatologist and research scientist Dr. Whitney Bowe presents, for the first time, the connection between a healthy gut and radiant, clear skin, with a 21-day program to maximize skin health and beauty. With simple explanations of the science, do-it-yourself practical skincare strategies, and a life-changing 21-day program, The Beauty of Dirty Skin is your roadmap to great skin from the inside out and the outside in.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover1920’s Fashion: The Definitive Sourcebook [paperback]
“Containing page after page of fabulous Art Deco fashions, 1920s Fashion documents comprehensively the seasonal fashion styles of the Twenties. Sumptuously illustrated with over 600 original photographs, drawings, and prints, this title is a must-have reference work for not only students of fashion and vintage collectors, but for all fashionistas. 1920s Fashion focuses on the Art Deco period with its beautiful beaded dresses, cloche hats and strappy shoes as worn by the fashionable flappers and the “bright young things” of the time.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover1930’s Fashion: The Definitive Sourcebook [paperback]
“An essential guide to Thirties fashion, this is a must-have handbook for fashion students as well as anyone interested in fashion or cultural history. Featuring elegant silk tea-dresses, tailored suits and draped furs, 1930s Fashion reveals the incredible elegance of this era’s fashions. Meanwhile, an authoritative introductory essay assesses the major themes within fashion during this period and presents its most notable designers. Giving a unique insight into the glamorous and opulent fashions of this fabulous bygone era, this book is not only a rich source of inspiration but also a significant and long-awaited reappraisal of Thirties fashion.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Designers’ Edit: new fashion and beauty books for September

This month, we have a special edit for budding fashion designers. We have guides to putting together your own all-important fashion portfolio, insights into designing costumes for film and theatre, a beautiful book of fashion swatches, as well as an insider’s view of the iconic Parsons fashion school, home to Project Runway. Or if fashion consumption rather than fashion study is more your thing, check out our other selections – a glossy volume on international men’s street style, a biography on the driving force behind Avon and a limited-edition volume all about the fashion collection of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Syndetics book coverMen in this town : London, Tokyo, Sydney, Milan, New York / Giuseppe Santamaria.
“From the streets of the leading fashion cities around the world, photographer, art director and blogger Giuseppe Santamaria brings together a striking photographic collection showcasing the styles of the modern man. In each city he visits, Giuseppe seeks out the man whose dress sense speaks volumes about who he is, sharing looks that will be a source of inspiration to readers. Alongside the varied sartorial tastes captured on the streets, Giuseppe chooses a handful of men from each city who have particularly caught his attention, photographing them in various attires and interviewing them on their individual approach to fashion. With cutting-edge, street style photography, Men in This Town is an exploration of the current menswear scene across the world’s most fashionable cities.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeauty queen : inside the reign of Avon’s Andrea Jung / Deborrah Himsel.
“Himsel (Leadership Sopranos Style), former vice-president of global organization effectiveness at Avon, takes on the story of former Avon CEO Andrea Jung, who resigned in 2011 in a blaze of scandal. At her peak, Jung was considered one of the finest leaders of the early 21st century; former colleague Himsel believes that her career constitutes the perfect leadership case study. Using her own experience and interviews with those who knew her, Himsel narrates Jung’s rise at Avon at a time when the direct sales channel model was viewed as old-fashioned. She then covers Jung’s initial success, her reshaping of the company’s image and mission, difficulties that arose, and her ultimate downfall. ” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverThe school of fashion : 30 Parsons designers / Simon Collins.
“For over a century, Parsons The new school for design has been synonymous with the best in American fashion, fostering creative talent and pushing the boundaries of style around the world. The staggering influence of the schools many successful alumni has created a legacy that has only grown in scale and scope over the decades. This illustrated volume explores that legacy through the testimony of its brightest stars, with interviews and exclusive archival sketches from Donna Karan, Alexander Wang, Jack McCullough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, and many others.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFashion portfolio : design and presentation / Anna Kiper.
“From finding inspiration to creating the final collection, this is the complete guide to putting together an attention-grabbing fashion portfolio. It follows the entire design process, covering research, quick sketches, silhouettes, mood boards, garment details, textiles, fabric manipulation, and draping experimentation. In addition to samples from professional sketchbooks, established fashion and accessories designers offer their personal insights on the job’s highlights and challenges. A beautiful and practical book that helps readers get inside the designer’s mind” – amazon.com

Syndetics book coverThe fashion swatch book / Marnie Fogg.
“This exhaustive sourcebook book presents the most eye-catching and important pieces from an array of more than 100 of the world’s fashion designers. Covering both contemporary and classic designs, it sets a new benchmark in the world of fabric design. Alphabetically arranged by designer, around 1,300 images illustrate the huge variety of swatches. Marnie Fogg introduces each fashion house and guides the reader through their particular approach to textile design and production. With unprecedented access behind the scenes of some of the most important manufacturers, the final section of the book displays informative step-by-step photographs of the working techniques behind both modern and classic fabric manufacturing.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDesigning costume for stage and screen / Deirdre Clancy.
“In this comprehensive and beautifully illustrated volume, accomplished costume designer Deirdre Clancy draws from over-40 years of experience to show how to design costume for stage and screen. All budgets and practicalities are considered, so whether you are a student, or a designer for the stage or screen, this book has advice from one of the best in the business. The entire design process is explained, with drawings and tips throughout starting with how you go about researching and designing, to communicating with the audience, designing on paper and with Photoshop or on an iPad, and how best to share your ideas. All the different strands of costume design from period costume through to contemporary clothes are covered with authenticity and feasibility in mind, so that the final costume is the perfect fit for the actor’s role.” – amazon.com

Syndetics book coverFashion designers : the collection of the Museum at FIT / text by Valerie Steele ; foreword by Suzy Menkes ; with contributions by Fred Dennis… [et al.] ; and illustrations by Robert Nippoldt.
“From Azzedine Alaïa, Cristóbal Balenciaga, and Coco Chanel, to Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, and Vivienne Westwood, a century’s worth of fashion greats from the permanent collection of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology are celebrated in this limited-edition volume. Photographs of over 500 garments selected from the Museum’s permanent collection illuminate each of the featured designers, while texts by the curators explain why each designer is important in fashion history and what is special about the individual pieces featured.” – adapted from amazon.com