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.” (

WOW… What a show!

As you’ll know, Wellington is fully glammed up for the World of WearableArt shows that have been on this month. Although the shows have officially finished for this year, it’s not too late for you to enjoy the creative spirit of the show! The store window-dressing competition is on and the winners have been announced, but the store windows are still dressed up in all their finery and are well worth a look. Window maps are available from participating stores.

Also, if the recycled fashion extravaganza has spiked your interest in recycled fashion, or in the WOW  story and art, we have some great books for you!

Syndetics book coverThe World of WearableArt / photography by Craig Potton, Martin de Ruyter, Neil Price.
One of the most interesting cultural phenomena in New Zealand over the past 15 years has been the spectacular success of the World of Wearable Art. This is an annual competition and award show that explores the intersection between fashion and art, through a genre popularly known as wearable art. This unique event has encouraged an explosion of creative activity, inspiring a wide range of fashion designers, artists, costume makers and other craft artists from all over the world to participate. The garments are constructed from an extraordinary array of materials – car parts, wood shavings, zips, silk, potato chip packets, seaweed, slices of toast, old telephone parts, paper clips, corrugated iron, gloves, feathers – the list is endless. The book features photographs of the wearable garments from the last 15 years of the World of Wearable Art awards and shows. – (adapted from Global Books In Print summary)

Syndetics book coverOff the wall : the World of WearableArt/ photography by Martin de Ruyter, Neil Price, Rohit Chawla and Daniel Rose.World of Wearable Art
“All new photos of garments from the last two shows, as well as new photos of some of the most extraordinary award-winning entries from the last decade”-Cover.

Syndetics book coverDIY fashion / [Selena Francis Bryden].
“DIY Fashion is a cool, quirky, and creative guide to making and customizing your own clothes, bags, and accessories. It contains more than 40 thrifty, sustainable, and stylish projects, none of which require prior skill or a sewing machine. From customized hand-me-downs to elegant evening wear, the book is packed with ideas that the reader can adapt to their own taste.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDIY style : find fashion you love and do it yourself / Jenni Radosevich.
“Radosevich collects some of her best ideas from the monthly do-it-yourself fashion column she writes for InStyle Magazine noting that “instead of breaking the bank for the trend du jour” readers can “grab some simple supplies and re-create it for less.” Here, the ideas definitely tend to the trendy and cheap, taking inspiration from celebrities on the red carpet or from designers’ Fashion Week. Pink feather earrings, a dress bleached with a chopstick design, and checkered sunglasses are just three of the well-illustrated projects that employ craft and dollar store finds to yield a cute reward. It must be noted, however, that the products as made here are unlikely to hold up for long: ribbon is glued (not sewn) to make a Chanel-style jacket, while a sheer scarf shirt really needs better sewing skills than illustrated to stay together. Radosevich does say that these creations are of-the-moment and require dry cleaning, but just a bit more skill would give them greater staying power and lower cost to maintain. Still, this is a snazzy book with lots of projects for thrifty fashionistas.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverNew dress a day:the ultimate DIY guide to creating fashion dos from thrift-store don’ts.
“GO FROM THRIFT-SHOP CHEAP TO RUNWAY CHIC EACH AND EVERY DAY! Based on her wildly popular blog of the same name, guerrilla seamstress Marisa Lynch shows you how to easily (and affordably!) transform your wardrobe from frumpy to fabulous! With just a snip here and a stitch there, your basement bargains will rival anything in designer collections. Yes, with a little imagination – and DIY tools like needles, thread, and safety pins – you too can update an outdated castoff. Inside you’ll discover how to ace the sewing basics (remember: safety first!), create DIY designer look-alikes, cut Flashdance-inspired sweatshirts, make an old, tired muumuu a smashing must-have, give bridesmaid dresses a second life, dye your way to a vibrant new wardrobe, whip up accessories in seconds and style the same dress seven different ways! Complete with colorful before-and-after photos, fun sidebars, and even a groovy sewing song playlist to get you in the zone, New Dress a Day proves that you don’t need a sewing machine or a big budget to turn unfashionable trash into stylish treasure.” (adapted from Global Books In Print summary)

Syndetics book coverDIY fashionista:40 recycling, upcycling and crafty projects.
“This volume allows you to re-create the most coveted looks and catwalk trends yourself by doing projects that are professional-looking, inexpensive to make and reuse items you already have or can easily source from markets or secondhand stores.”  (adapted from Global Books In Print summary)