Fashionable & Inspiring Books

If we look into fashion it's impossible to dissociate it from time, it's not just about capturing the zeitgeist but also revisiting different periods in history. It could never be depicted in a straight line but as circles intertwined between one another. Multinational luxury brands not only push future trends, they embrace the past promoting their unique heritage and Christian Dior is no exception.

Fashion today is open to whoever wants to follow it, trends are becoming more and more merely open guidelines. Bill Cunningham speaks about the "globalisation of fashion" in one of his latest On the Street videos, with people adapting fashion to their own culture and sexuality, going beyond the "antiquated idea of good or bad taste."

Diane Von Furstenberg is the latest inspiration for Camilla Morton's fashion fairy tale memoir series. The new book styles a feminine twist to the classic tale of 'The Emperor's New Clothes' as it draws parallels with the designer's incredible life.

Fashion illustration is often overlooked in a world where technology is ever pervasive. The immediacy of instant communication and photo sharing provokes a very fleeting attention span which affects the way we perceive and interpret what is around us.

Testino's Private View
Mario Testino has become a celebrity in his own right, having created iconic images of the Royal family and of a wide range of stars from the music and film industries. But fashion remains a key platform for him and my favourite photographs have been published by major glossy magazines.

Stars in Dior
Christian Dior was fascinated by film and became a costume designer even before his couture house was created in 1946. The greatest movie stars of his time such as Marlene Dietrich, Grace Kelly, Ingrid Bergman and Elizabeth Taylor dressed some of his amazing couture creations.

Marilyn Monroe by Lawrence Schiller
Marilyn Monroe is the poster girl for this year's Cannes film festival, on occasion of its 65th birthday. Her magnetising sensuality and mesmerising beauty are still relevant today, she'll always be one of the greatest Hollywood's icons.

Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche
Yves Saint Laurent was the first to popularise ready-to-wear with Rive Gauche in 1966, a fashion line aimed at professional women who didn't have the financial means to dress in haute couture.

Dior Jewellery Fairyland
Precious jewels have always fascinate us, fairy tales include exciting treasure hunts with wild adventures in exotic lands and legendary women such as Cleopatra would not be the same without their exquisite adornments.

Power Stylists
Stylists used to work on the backstage of magazines, shows, advertising campaigns, music labels and design ateliers but a growing shift in the dynamics of the fashion industry tuned them into entrepreneurial visionaries. 

A Close-Up: Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn lives on as an elegant and mesmerising woman who has seduced us with her talent in iconic movies from Hollywood's golden age.

Defying Photography
Photographers are now able to construct their own representation of the human face and body. Digital retouching enables them to transform physical attributes to an unseen scale, allowing young people to become old and men to become women.

Dior Couture by Demarchelier
We perceive a fashion photographer as someone cool and open-minded with an hectic lifestyle, always on the move and surrounded by the most beautiful women on the planet.

Manolo Blahnik: a Fairy Tale
Manolo Blahnik is the inspiration of the latest Camilla Morton's book, a fairy tale version of his life which includes whimsical illustrations by the man himself.

Gucci: Beyond the Wildest Dreams
Like most fashion houses, Gucci is born from a dream, in this case from Guccio Gucci, who in 1921, after working at the Savoy Hotel, returned to Italy and opened a leather goods company and small luggage store in his native Florence.

Coco Chanel, an Ongoing Inspiration
Many books have already been written about Coco Chanel but this week Thames & Hudson has published one solely dedicated to her style by Jérôme Gautier: Chanel, the Vocabulary of Style.

Christian Louboutin: Shoe Artist
As a young man he was a real night owl who loved to dress up to go out partying, always in an extravagant and eccentric way. Farida Khelfa, a close friend since these wild nights at the most exclusive Parisian clubs, says he brings out the best in people.

Business Power in High Heels
(Added note: Tamara Mellon has resigned from Jimmy Choo on the 14th November 2011.) Tamara Mellon became almost as famous as the brand she has developed, Jimmy Choo, now worth a few hundred million pounds.

Homage to Diana Vreeland, a Fashion Icon
The woman who advised Jackie Kennedy in matters of style started her career in Harper's Bazaar magazine with a celebrated column intitled "Why don't you", communicating her strong creative force.

'Erotic Chic' Fashion Images by Carine Roitfeld
Carine Roitfeld created gloriously provocative and powerful images as the former Editor-in-Chief of French Vogue, a post she held for a decade, always redrawing fashion frontiers.