Pioneers of art: 10 new books on artistic beginnings

For this selection of new art books we decided to take a look at beginnings, from prehistoric evidence of creativity and expression, to the early renaissance, right through to the more recent emergence of artistic collaboration or co-art. Whether it’s fashion illustration, the story of heritage paints and pigments, or learning to draw manga, you might find yourself beginning a new creative journey.

Syndetics book coverThe first artists : in search of the world’s oldest art / Michel Lorblanchet and Paul Bahn
“Where is the world’s very first art located? When, and why, did people begin experimenting with different materials, forms, and colors? Prehistorians have long been asking these questions, but only recently have they been able to piece together the first chapter in the story of art. This book is the first to assess the discovery, history, and significance of these varied forms of art.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCo-art : artists on creative collaboration / Ellen Mara De Wachter.
“Art history is traditionally presented as the individual’s struggle for self-expression, yet over the past fifty years, the number of artists working collaboratively has grown exponentially. Co-Art: Artists on Creative Collaboration, explores this phenomenon through conversations with twenty-five leading art-world pairs and groups, who offer insight that is relevant beyond the art world, making this book vital for all who seek to work creatively and effectively with others.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArtist’s drawing techniques / senior editor, Georgina Palffy.
“Try your hand at drawing and bring out your inner artist as you discover your own unique style. Create your own masterpieces with projects for both beginners and experienced artists. A practical guide to learning how to draw with pencils, charcoal, pens, and pastels, Artist’s Drawing Techniques helps you develop skills in every medium, perfect for the beginner picking up a new hobby or the experienced artist who wants to expand your horizons.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover100 years of fashion illustration / Cally Blackman.
“A visual feast of 400 dazzling images, a comprehensive survey of a genre over the last century and offering an overview of the development of fashion, as seen through the eyes of the greatest illustrators of the day. Early in the century, fashion illustration reflected new, liberating currents in art and culture, while the postwar period saw inspiration from the great Parisian couturiers. After the dominance of the celebrity fashion photographer in the 60s, a new generation of illustrators emerged, embracing the medium of the computer, while many returned to more traditional techniques.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe collector of lives : Giorgio Vasari and the invention of art / Ingrid Rowland and Noah Charney.
“Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574), an advisor to kings and pontiffs and a confidant to Titian, Donatello, and more, Vasari enjoyed an exhilarating career amid the thrilling culture of Italy. A narrative of intrigue, scandal, and colorful artistic rivalry, this vivid biography shows the great works of western art taking shape under Vasari’s keen eye–and reveals how one Renaissance scholar completely redefined how we look at art.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHokusai : beyond the great wave / edited by Timothy Clark.
“Publications have hitherto presented Hokusai’s long and illustrious career as a chronological sequence. This book takes a fresh approach based on innovative scholarship: thematic groupings of works are related to the major spiritual and artistic quests of Hokusai’s life. This collection of Hokusai’s works draws on the finest to be found in Japan and around the world, making this the most important publication for years on Hokusai, and a uniquely valuable overview of the artist’s late career.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to draw manga in simple steps / Yishan Li.
“Learn how to draw boys, girls and creatures (ordinary and extraordinary) in the manga style, using this fun and simple step-by-step book. Starting with basic shapes, professional comic artist Yishan Li shows how easy it is to turn circles, rectangles, squares and ovals into teens, kids, witches, wizards, monsters, animals and much more. If you have always wanted to draw manga, but weren’t sure how to begin, this book will help kick-start your comic-drawing journey. Even experienced artists will be inspired by Yishan’s impressive mix of figures and foes.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe anatomy of colour : the story of heritage paints and pigments / Patrick Baty.
The Anatomy of Colour is the definitive book on the use of colour and paint in interior decoration over a 300-year period. Drawing on his huge specialist archive, historian and paint expert Patrick Baty traces the evolution of pigments and paint colours together with colour systems and standards, and examines their impact on the colour palettes used in interiors from 1650 to 1960.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPipilotti Rist : Pixel Forest / edited by Massimiliano Gioni and Margot Norton.
“A pioneer of experimental video art, Pipilotti Rist is celebrated for her immersive, seductive works that bridge the spaces between fine art and entertainment. Through saturated colours, sensuous imagery, and playful eroticism, Rist’s art, which ranges from kaleidoscopic video environments to a chandelier of tie-dyed underwear, absorbs viewers in a hyperfeminine aesthetic at odds with deeper themes of pain and innocence.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTraces of Vermeer / Jane Jelley.
“Johannes Vermeer’s luminous paintings are loved and admired around the world, yet we do not understand how they were made. We see sunlit spaces; the glimmer of satin, silver, and linen; we see the softness of a hand on a lute string or letter. We might hope for some answers from the experts, but they are confounded too. Jane Jelley has taken a new path in this detective story. A painter herself, she has worked with the materials of his time and shows us how painters made their pictures layer by layer, exploring how Vermeer could have used a lens in the creation of his masterpieces. The clues were there all along. After all this time, now we can unlock the studio door, and catch a glimpse of Vermeer inside, painting light.” (Syndetics summary)

New fashion & beauty books, featuring bell-bottoms, bikinis & the little black dress

With books on shoes, 1940s fashions, key wardrobe pieces, stylish London cycling outfits and a much-coveted biography of one of Vogue America’s most famous staffers, there is somethng for everyone in July’s new fashion picks!!

Syndetics book coverBikinis, bell-bottoms & little black dresses : 70 great fashion classics / Kate Mulvey.
“Bikinis, Bell-Bottoms and Little Black Dresses chronicles the most influential, exciting, and shocking items of clothing of the last 100 years. The trench coat, the trainer, and the miniskirt, to name only three, have all changed the way we think about our dress. Fashion journalist Kate Mulvey charts the evolution of 70 key garments, investigating how their individual stories have helped shape the course of fashion history. Each entry traces the origins of an unforgettable item of clothing, and explores the moment it first made an impact on the world fashion stage, as well as the garments that developed out of it, the personalities who wore it, and its continuing popularity today” (summary courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverWhat shall I wear? : the what, where, when, and how much of fashion / Claire McCardell ; illustrations by Annabrita.
Presents a fashion guide, first published in 1956, that spawned “The American Look” for women with an active lifestyle.

Syndetics book coverCycle style / Horst A. Friedrichs.
“No city boasts of a more fashionable population of bicyclists than London. Photographer Horst Friedrichs meets his subjects in their own milieu: zooming around the city’s streets on two wheels. In tweeds (both Harris and hipster) and Saville Row suits, in high-tops and stilettos, in flowing skirts and the skinniest jeans, wildly tattooed and impeccably manicured, sporting bowler hats and racing caps, London’s cyclists are jubilantly exercising their fashion freedom. Whether they’re leisurely filling their baskets from market to home or pedalling purposefully to an important meeting, experiencing the city as cycling tourists, or getting from place to place in the most economical way possible, Friedrichs’ subjects share a love of the bicycle culture that is sweeping the streets of London and the rest of the world” (summary courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverGrace : a memoir / Grace Coddington with Michael Roberts.
“Coddington, creative director of the American Vogue magazine, has much to impart. Fashionistas, rejoice, because not only does she chronicle the life and times of a former model turned editor; she also discusses those whose names appear in any celebrity column. What saves this from becoming a download of the activities of the rich and famous is, first, her amazing candor. We learn, for instance, that marriages don’t agree with her, that her sister Rosemary died of a combination OD-hospital malfeasance issue, and that editor-in-chief Anna Wintour is not as portrayed in The Devil Wears Prada. And, second, her charming and lively pen-and-ink illustrations grace every chapter and almost every page.” (Booklist, courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverNew icons of fashion illustration / Tony Glenville.
“Fashion illustration is and always has been about far more than pretty drawings of pretty dresses. This lavish celebration of today’s leading artists in the field showcases the timeless craft and amazing diversity that characterize the genre. In this book, 28 masters of fashion illustration from across the world are featured, one by one, in a grand tour of the best work currently produced. While some illustrators create daringly bold graphics, others prefer delicate watercolours and ink drawings. Throughout the volume, both hi-tech multimedia effects and traditional drawing skills are given pride of place, with many of the artists using a mixture of techniques. Lively commentary accompanies the images, while interviews with each illustrator provide further insight into their influences and methods.” (summary courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverNew fashion photography / compiled by Paul Sloman ; introduction by Tim Blanks.
“Find out who’s making their mark in a new century–and era–of fashion photography. The 21st century has brought about seismic changes in photography, technology, fashion, and art. At the nexus of these exciting movements is a group of fashion photographers who are breaking ground in a variety of ways, including cultural referencing, digital imaging, photo manipulation, and the use of new media. This stunningly illustrated book profiles more than 30 artists from around the world through exclusive interviews, commentary, and beautiful images.” (summary courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverParis / Roger Vivier, with contributions and texts by Cate Blanchett… [et al.].
“A gorgeous tribute to the legendary shoe and accessories designs of Roger Vivier. Master designer Roger Vivier elevated both the form and decoration of ladies’ shoes during his sixty-year career. Described by Yves St. Laurent as bringing to his work a “level of charm, delicacy, refinement and poetry unsurpassed,” he created the first stiletto heel for a ready-to-wear shoe line with the house of Dior in 1955. His shoes are legendary, and the tradition of his innovative spirit continues with the revival of the house by current designer Bruno Frisoni. This lavish volume celebrates the history of the venerated house and charts the current evolution of the fantastic haute-couture designs that keep Roger Vivier at the top of every well-dressed woman’s list.” (summary courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book cover1940s fashion : the definitive sourcebook / Emmanuelle Dirix & Charlotte Fiell.
“The early Forties might have been years of make-do-and-mending and fashionable inventiveness, but the latter half of the decade saw an explosion of contemporary forward-looking fashions. 1940s Fashion: the Definitive Sourcebook is an extensive survey that brings together previously unpublished photography and beautifully drawn illustrations to provide a comprehensive overview of the period, from the austerity fashion of the war years to the introduction of Dior’s revolutionary “”New Look””, and the rise of Hollywood glamour. The images feature prominent stars of the decade such as Joan Bennett, Veronica Lake and Barbara Stanwyck, and designers including Dior, Lucien Lelong, Balmain, Nina Ricci, and Worth.” (summary courtesy of Syndetics).

Become a fashion design star!

This month, we have a treat for students of fashion design and for budding designers! We have a range of new books explaining how to crack into the ever-challenging fashion industry, from books on fashion illustration to books on how to put a collection together. We also have a hit of Hollywood glamour, along with beautiful fashion photography from the likes of Eugene Vernier and Jonathan Becker. Crafters can delight in our latest guide to blinging out your own clothing, and fans of Kate Spade New York can pore through page after page of pure inspiration. Whatever your fashion fixation is, this month’s new books are sure to get you swooning!

Syndetics book cover9 heads : a guide to drawing fashion / Nancy Riegelman.
“A modern guide to fashion drawing for all levels of student. Effective fashion drawings must be clear, accurate, realistic, and attractive. 9 Heads: A Guide to Drawing Fashion provides a simple and effective system for learning to create drawings with these qualities. The text teaches how to acquire the techniques, skills, and knowledge needed to make realistic fashion figures to serve as firm foundations for fashion design sketches. Riegelman also covers the fashion topics, terminology, and current trends that design students need to be familiar with, and provides over a thousand new examples of contemporary drawings to inspire students in their work.” – adapted from Global Books in Print.

“Designing a final degree collection is a fashion student’s first chance to approach the reality of the industry. This handbook provides a step-by-step guide to creating this collection, with each chapter exploring a different stage of the project: from understanding the brief and identifying the market to research, development, and sampling, through to garment design, range planning, and styling and presentation. The book will be accompanied by a CD containing 15 additional student case studies”. – adapted from Amazon.com

Syndetics book coverBlue is the new black : the 10 step guide to developing and producing a fashion collection / Susie Breuer.
“Blue is the New Black
demystifies the process of how to make a fashion collection, and is accessible for all levels. Its an A to Z of the whole fashion process from development to production. A reference guide, a buddy, and a bible of who, what, and where” – adapted from Global Books in Print.

Syndetics book coverA to Z of Hollywood style / compiled by Sinty Stemp.
“A to Z of Hollywood Style brings together style advice from the good, the bad and the beautiful to explore the allure of some of the world’s best-loved film stars: Alfred Hitchcock on elegance, Sophia Loren on sex appeal and Edith Head on how to make a woman more beautiful. This book includes the opinions of critics, designers and film directors, as well as the actors themselves. Including Joan Crawford’s five fashion rules and Marlene Dietrich’s tips for dressing on a budget, A to Z of Hollywood Style is packed full of stylish tips for would-be starlets, or simply those who long for a more glamorous age.” (Catalogue summary)

Syndetics book coverVernier : fashion, femininity & form / essays by Robin Muir and Becky E. Conekin ; edited by Alistair C. Layzell.
“Eugene Vernier (1920-2011) worked as a fashion photographer for British Vogue from 1954 to 1967, during one of the most exciting periods in fashion history. Shooting of-the-moment looks from the likes of Christian Dior and Emilio Pucci and top models including Celia Hammond, Jean Shrimpton, and current Vogue creative director Grace Coddington, Vernier worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. Yet he was relatively unconcerned with celebrity. Interested only in bringing out the very best in each frame, Vernier was a true craftsman in the fashion photography trade.” – adapted from Amazon.com

Syndetics book coverkate spade new york : things we love : twenty years of inspiration, intriguing bits and other curiosities / [editors, Deborah Aaronson, Rebecca Kaplan].
“Within the four walls of kate spade new york, personal style is applauded and cultural curiosity is encouraged. Long before the days of pinboards and social sharing, the brand’s in-house creative team began amassing a collection of things we love on their website: a crayon ring, a cocktail doodle, a particularly dreamy photograph. People began visiting and chiming in with suggestions. Now, the things we love have come to life in celebration of the brand’s 20th anniversary. Each of the book’s 20 chapters is filled with things we love—from the color red to a well-placed bow to a sense of humor and handwritten notes. Part visual diary, part inspirational reference and sprinkled throughout with playful tips and practical advice, things we love is a beautiful compilation that visually represents the spirit of kate spade new york—a place where the colors are bold, smart design is key and fashion is fun” – adapted from Amazon.com

Syndetics book cover30 years at Vanity Fair / Jonathan Becker.
“Over three decades with Vanity Fair, Jonathan Becker has photographed some of the most fascinating characters from the rarefied worlds of art, literature, politics, pop culture, and society, capturing the personality and individuality of the subjects he celebrates. Assignments for the magazine have dispatched Becker far and wide—from the Amazonian jungle to Buckingham Palace.”- adapted from Amazon.com

Syndetics book coverThe big-ass book of bling / by Mark Montano.
“A fun, flashy, and sassy book for beginner and expert crafters alike–with more than 150 new projects that will add pizzazz to everything from jewelry to tote bags! Now more than ever, most of us are scaling back on shopping sprees and holding on to things longer than usual. But we still need ways to liven up last season’s dress or add some sparkle to our everyday shoes. But how? No need for fancy tools or expensive supplies–Mark Montano presents this beautifully illustrated book that’s jam-packed with more than 150 easy-to-make projects. Featuring simple, step-by-step instructions for each project, The Big-Ass Book of Bling includes everything from ornate shoe clips to rhinestone-studded cuffs to flashy headbands–anything and everything that needs a little sprucing up. So “bling it on” and see how dazzling you can be!”– Provided by publisher.

High-fashion reading

Indulge yourself with these brand new fashion and beauty books from our collection.

Syndetics book coverHollywood sketchbook : a century of costume illustration / Deborah Nadoolman Landis.
“Hollywood Sketchbook is the first volume published on costume design illustration for the movies. This groundbreaking book celebrates one hundred years of the costume designers’ and costume illustrators’ contributions to the art of cinematic storytelling. Costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis offers us a unique perspective on the art and importance of the costume drawing. During her years of practice and research, Professor Landis has discovered a wealth of never-before-seen original sketches, published here for the first time, along with a comprehensive array of first-person anecdotes from collectors, archivists, illustrators, and designers. Whether the film, costume designer, or star was significant or successful did not factor into the criteria for choosing the sketches in this book. Every drawing had a chance to be included on its own merit as a work of art. Featuring a comprehensive introduction that contextualizes the rigors of costume design and a filmography that details the career highlights of each artist, Hollywood Sketchbook is the perfect gift for any lover of fine art, costume design, and the movies”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTim Gunn’s fashion bible : the fascinating history of everything in your closet / Tim Gunn with Ada Calhoun.
“From a bestselling fashion guru–a fascinating, meticulously researched history of Western fashion covering every topic from the history of the high heel to the origin of blue jeans.America’s favorite fashion expert, New York Times bestselling author, beloved mentor on Project Runway, and a frequent guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Oz, The Biggest Loser, and others–Tim Gunn is also the chief creative officer of Liz Claiborne and a former faculty member and chair of fashion design at Parsons’ New School for Design. Now he pours this undeniably impressive fashion knowledge into this category-killing tome, Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible. From togas to Crocs, beloved fashion guru Tim Gunn presents the fascinating and exhaustive history of every item of clothing and accessory ever worn. In his new, authoritative, witty Fashion Bible, he traces the origins of everything in your closet from its earliest incarnation to the present day, covering everything from the cultural history of the garment to current fads. From suits to sportswear, Gunn recounts the contributions made by revolutionary designers and surveys Western fashion, educating, enlightening, and entertaining us all! Marked by Tim’s personable tone, this comprehensive volume not only informs, but reminds us that fashion is ultimately about innovation and fun!”– Provided by publisher. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDressing the Queen : the Jubilee wardrobe / Angela Kelly.
“Under grey skies, more than one million people gathered for the Thames River Pageant of the 2012 Diamond Jubilee. Huddled under a sea of umbrellas, some had even spent the night there to secure prime seats. But the wait proved worthwhile. As the parade passed, there atop the splendid Spirit of Chartwell stood the Queen, resplendent against the wind and rain in a smart crystal encrusted white coat and pashmina shawl. The effect was one of breathtaking beauty, and it struck just the right note with the rain-dampened crowd, reinforcing Britain as a noble maritime nation.
Dressing the Queen reveals the careful planning and preparation that went into the Queen’s wardrobe for the Diamond Jubilee, the first such celebration since that of Queen Victoria in 1897 and made all the more momentous by London’s hosting of the 2012 Olympics. The secret to the Queen’s unfailing style is royal couturier Angela Kelly, whose team of dressmakers and milliners spent two years designing and bringing to fruition the creations seen in the events leading up to and during the Diamond Jubilee, as well as at the Olympics. In addition to presenting the right image, the Queen’s clothing must address a great many practical concerns—and all of her garments must be pristinely maintained. Of course, no outfit is complete without the perfect hat, and a chapter of the book is devoted entirely to their intricate and highly detailed creation”. (Amazon.com summary)

Syndetics book coverFifty fashion looks that changed the 1950s / Paula Reed.
“Fifty Fashion Looks that Changed the 1950s showcases fifty iconic outfits from one of fashion’s most influential and exciting decades. From the bombshell glamour of Marilyn Monroe in How to Marry a Millionnaire to the emergence of teenage style, via the sculptural forms of Christian Dior’s New Look and Balenciaga’s double A-line, this elegant sourcebook celebrates all the looks that revolutionized fashion. With Paula Reed’s lively and informative text and a wealth of fabulous photography, this book will be required reading for design students, collectors of vintage and all those who love fashion”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFifty fashion looks that changed the 1960s / Paula Reed.
“Building on the international success of the Design Museum Fifty… series, including Fifty Shoes/Bags/Hats that Changed the World, this new title – curated in the series by fashion guru Paula Reed – takes a look at key pieces in fashion history from the 1960s. From the Courreges ‘Moon Girls’ to Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell’s ‘romantic peasants’, this books captures the influential looks of the decade. With more and more people buying vintage pieces to add to their wardrobes of contemporary items, this authoritative and inspiring book will prove an invaluable source of reference”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFifty fashion looks that changed the 1970s / Paula Reed.
“Building on the international success of the Design Museum Fifty… series, including Fifty Dresses/Shoes/Bags/Hats That Changed the World, this new title – curated by fashion guru Paula Reed – takes a look at key pieces in fashion history from the 1970s. From Bianca Jagger in Halston, Diane von Furstenberg’s first wrap dress to the rise of punk, this book captures the influential looks of the decade. With more and more people buying vintage pieces to add to their wardrobes of contemporary items, this authoritative and inspiring book will prove an invaluable source of reference”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBobbi Brown, pretty powerful : beauty stories to inspire confidence : start-to-finish makeup techniques to achieve fabulous looks / by Bobbi Brown with Sara Bliss.
“From best-selling author and global makeup mogul Bobbi Brown, this beauty guide presents Bobbi’s Pretty Powerful philosophy and inspires women to use makeup to be their best selves. With step-by-step application instructions, face charts breaking down the different looks, and personal stories from real women and celebrities, this book outlines the best tricks and techniques Bobbi has culled from her remarkable career in the beauty industry”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLove looks not with the eyes : thirteen years with Lee Alexander McQueen / by Anne Deniau.
“Lee Alexander McQueen (1969–2010), whose design combined visionary aesthetics, emotional power, and extraordinary craft, was known for staging provocative shows that were as much performances as venues to display his couture creations. Charged with energy, informed by history and culture, and filled with fresh concepts, McQueen’s shows have become legends not only of fashion but also of art. Anne Deniau was the only photographer allowed backstage by McQueen for 13 years, beginning in September 1997 and ending with the final show in March 2010. She captured McQueen working with his close circle of collaborators—including designer Sarah Burton, milliner Philip Treacy, jewelry designer Shaun Leane, and model Kate Moss—to create his meticulously produced spectacles. Her book offers an inspiring homage, through the art of photography, to the work of a great artist.” (excerpt from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHome sewn : with patterns from 10 leading New Zealand designers.
“New Zealand has a proud tradition of fashionable sewing. With an introductory essay by Doris de Pont, founder of the New Zealand Fashion Museum and curator of the Home Sewn exhibition, Home Sewn profiles 10 leading New Zealand designers, each of whom share a pattern from one of their stunning collections. With gorgeous colour photographs, simple instructions and how-to tutorials, Home Sewn gives you the tools you need to create your own designer garment at home.Click here to look inside Home Sewn”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStylists : new fashion visionaries / by Katie Baron.
“Stylists are some of the most influential people working within the fashion industry, responsible for the final shape of many exciting works in popular culture. Still unsung heroes, they are now becoming increasingly more well known in their own right, alongside the photographers, art directors, and magazine editors of the industry. Featuring stunning imagery and entertaining interviews with some of the biggest names in the field, including Lady Gaga’s stylist Nicola Formichetti, Marc Jacobs’ collaborator Katie Grand, and Melanie Ward ofHarper’s Bazaar, this is an essential book for any aspiring stylist or fashion student”. (Syndetics summary)