Pure Glamour: New fashion and beauty books for February

I hope you’re all feeling glamorous!! Because our selection of new fashion and beauty books this month is nothing if not glamorous; we have a whole book dedicated to shoes (swoon), as well as big, beautiful books documenting Christian Dior, Paul Smith and the essence of French style. We also have your guide to gentlemen’s fashion, and an illustrated history of luxury fashion brands. We have Collette Dinnigan’s new book, and also an anthology of rock and roll fashion photographs that aren’t to be missed.

Syndetics book coverFor the love of shoes / edited by Patrice Farameh.
“Women have long realized that cool shoes do not only complement the outfit, they are the whole point. From Cinderella to Carrie, we have all fallen head over heels for the right pair-and to hell with cost or comfort! This book explores the outer realms of avant-garde shoe design. Unfettered by commercialism, these pioneering designers give full rein to their artistic visions. These zany pieces contain an array of extraordinary forms and materials. With influences ranging from Las Vegas pizzazz and arcane tribal relics to contemporary architecture, it may be difficult to distinguish between fun footwear and conceptual sculpture.” (amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverJohn Varvatos : rock in fashion / John Varvatos with Holly George-Warren.
“In John Varvatos, the legendary designer reveals his perspective on how rock & roll music and style have influenced his own designs and fashion worldwide. Varvatos’s personally curated collection of more than 250 images are some of the most provocative ever shot by top rock photographers from the late 1960s to today, from the Rolling Stones to the Kings of Leon. Also included are select images from Varvatos’s own advertising campaigns. Every chapter also contains numerous quotes from the musicians themselves, including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Iggy Pop, Jack White, Pete Townshend, Robert Plant, Steven Tyler, and Patti Smith. An extraordinary anthology of some of the finest images in rock & roll and the most influential rock looks in fashion and popular culture.” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverDior glamour : photographs from 1952 to 1962 / Mark Shaw ; foreword by Lee Radziwill ; text by Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni.
“A collection of the lavish and iconic gowns of Christian Dior, from the 1950s and 1960s, captured by the legendary photographer Mark Shaw. Iconic photographer Mark Shaw documented the ultra-exclusive Parisian fashion world, focusing on Paris’s long-standing top couturier Christian Dior. This lavish volume embodies the glamour of that time, from rare moments of Christian Dior during fittings to editorial-style photographs of models, socialites, and actresses posing in Dior’s ballgowns, day suits, and haute couture collections. With an eye for intimacy and opulence, this book features more than 200 color and black-and-white photographs, many never published before, having only recently been found in a secret vault by his estate.” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverHello, my name is Paul Smith : fashion and other stories / by Paul Smith, Deyan Sudjic and Donna Loveday ; edited by Alan Aboud.
“This handsome volume celebrates over forty years of the playful and trendsetting English fashion brand and retailer Paul Smith. Always in fashion, Paul Smith perfected a classic style that exudes a sense of English tradition combined with humor, playfulness, and mischief. This marriage of sophistication and the unexpected has given birth to a style and identity that forty years and many collections later remains charming, personable, and effortlessly hip. Using hand-drawn designs, archival photographs, gorgeous original photography, and engaging essays, this colorful catalog weaves together a compelling visual tale of Paul Smith s prestigious projects and creative processes from behind-the-scenes to on the streets that built this multifaceted empire of cool.” (Adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverObsessive creative / Collette Dinnigan.
“In this much-anticipated book, renowned fashion designer and icon Collette Dinnigan provides an intimate insight into her life and work. In this sumptuous volume jam-packed with hundreds of photographs of the clothes on and off the runway, sketches, watercolors, and images from the designers personal albums.” (amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverLuxury fashion : a global history of heritage brands / Caroline Cox ; foreword by Cameron Silver.
“Luxury brands are not about banal retro styling or taking refuge in past glories; they are brands with a heritage that still chimes with contemporary culture. Luxury Fashion is a unique tribute to the world’s most hallowed fashion brands. Glossy and highly informative, it provides in-depth feature portraits of fifty of the finest luxury fashion brands (renowned heritage labels and hidden gems) as well as an essential directory of a further 150 brands, which includes details of key items and where to find them. Each featured brand is beautifully illustrated, with historical and contemporary images, evoking the story of how artisans from all over the world have created objects of desire that have endured because of their superb quality, superior craftsmanship and timeless design appeal.” (Adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverThe art of being a woman : my mother, Schiaparelli, and me / Patricia Volk.
“Patricia Volk’s glittering memoir, written with charm, panache and wit, juxtaposes the lives of two women – the iconoclastic fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli and the author’s own mother – to tell the story of how young Patricia fashioned herself into a woman. Patricia Volk’s mother Audrey was an upper-middle class New Yorker, a great beauty, a perfectionist, and a polished hostess who believed in women doing things the proper way. The iconoclastic Italian fashion designer, Elsa Schiaparelli, on the other hand, never found a rule she didn’t want to break. For Patricia, who read Schiap’s ‘scandalous’ autobiography, Shocking Life, at a tender age, these two women offered fabulously contrasting lessons in everything from fashion, make-up, lingerie, family and entertaining, to love, sex, superstition and gambling – lessons that would stay with her for the rest of her life.” (amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverFrench style / Bérénice Vila Baudry.
“French Style Berenice Baudry was born in Argentina and raised in France. She was a fellow of the Ecole Normale Superieure where she studied French and Spanish literature, and received her doctorate from the University of Paris-Sorbonne. After living four years in Spain, she currently resides in New York and teaches at Columbia University.” (amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverQuintessentially gentleman / head of editorial and writer, Nathalie Bradbury.
“Quintessentially Gentleman is a luxury guidebook for the sartorially savvy man. This edition explores some of the biggest fashion brands as well as the most exclusive bespoke tailors and craftsmen and readers can discover the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of lifestyle etiquette. Be it the finest cut suit, a fashion-forward branded anorak or traditional tweeds for a country weekend, Quintessentially Gentleman will reveal surprising insights into the most respected and admired names in industry.” (Publisher’s website)

Luxurious fashion

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.

Syndetics book coverThe 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)

Syndetics book coverCristóbal 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)

Syndetics book coverLittle 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)

Syndetics book coverYou 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)

Syndetics book coverThe 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)

Syndetics book coverIt / 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)

Syndetics book coverAlexander 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)

Syndetics book coverFashion 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)