The September Issue: A fly on the wall documentary that gave us all a glimpse in to the working lives of American Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour and team including Andre Leon Talley and the incredible Grace Coddington (think The Devil Wears Prada but in real life). The September Issue is a must watch for learning about fashion publishing, big budget photo shoots and the harsh editing of fashion stories. Even if you don’t pick up a magazine every day – it’s imperative to get to grips with the workings of editorial and print publications and this is one of the best ways. The September Issue is available to watch on Amazon.
Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes by Dana Thomas: Published just a year ago, this book is an up to date account of both the human and environmental cost of fast fashion. It covers what people are doing to try and make the industry less damaging and wasteful and is an insightful read for anyone wanting to partake in the narrative of a better and sustainable fashion industry. I could write so much about this book but instead I urge you to read it for yourself. It comes in both paperback and hardback.
Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design by Deborah Nadoolman Landis – I picked up this book on the very last day of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s ‘Hollywood Costume‘ exhibition. It was ram packed with hardly any space to move apart from forward – but I was so glad to have seen it. The exhibition was a reminder of just how much movie fashion has impacted us. Landis’ book is a fascinating read and highlights the often forgotten role of the Costume Designer. It takes you back through film history and is a crucial read for anyone wanting to understand fashion, the movies and the costume makers. Available from Amazon.
The Little Dictionary of Fashion: A Guide to Dress Sense for Every Woman by Christian Dior – Whilst to many this book may seem a little dated – I reccomend ot because it represents a key time in fashion. Dior created this alhabetocal book as a style guide but it’s more of a history lesson. A bestseller, it’s a beautiful book full of visuals and proves why Dior and his ideas had such a huge impact of the fashion world then – and why they still do today. Available to purchase in store and online from the V&A.
The Woman I Wanted to be by Diane Von Furstenberg – I’ve bought this book for so many friends and whilst DVF have just announced the closure of over 300 stores – she has created a phenomenal brand over her 50 year career. It’s fascinating to read about her creating financial independence, in breaking away from her marriage, and the privileges of being married to a Prince. She gave up her title to focus on raising her family and creating success – all of this alongside surviving Cancer. It’s a page turner of an autobiography and also a masterclass of sorts of a (pre-covid) powerhouse brand and is a worthy read.
McQueen directed by Ian Bonhôte is both a dark and fascinating tale of the life of the late Alexander McQueen. It’s a long watch, but it delves deep in to the archives of his work and life and the fashion house. It’s a hugely important watch in understanding the blood, sweat and tears that go in to being a designer and the strains of the business. Available to watch on Amazon Prime.
Dapper Dan Made in Harlem – This book is a must read for anyone that wants to know about fashion. Dapper Dan has stories both gritty, raw and uplifting – and that should have been shared in the mainstream decades ago. If you read about Dapper Dan and his Gucci collaboration at the 2019 Met Gala – but don’t know why that collaboration came to be (and you want to work in fashion?) – it’s time to get to know. Order online here.
Creative Conversations with Suzy Menkes – The influential Fashion Journalist and Editor announced her depature from Vogue International earlier this year. In her brand new podcast she speaks to some of the most important names in fashion. So far she’s interviewed Christian Louboutin, Michael Kors, Maria Grazia Chirui, Stephen Jones and the Missoni family. If you’d really like to understand fashion – beyond the clothes – Menkes is a powerhouse that will only prove beneficial to your fashion knowledge. You can listen to the podcast here.
Chanel – The Lagerfeld Collections – I was bought this coffee table present as a present and it’s the one that people ask to see the most. From his first show in 1983, every single one of Lagerfeld’s runway looks as Creative Director of Chanel are a sight to behold. And now even more so that he is no longer with us. This book is an education in catwalk shows and one of the biggest and most luxurious fashion brands in the world. The book is stunning.
Sex and the City – There isn’t another show that did as much for fashion as Carrie Bradshaw and Sex and The City. Costume Designer Patricia Field created some of the most iconic TV looks that turned Sarah Jessica Parker in to one of the biggest fashion stars of the world. And it’s also the reason I got in to fashion – so if that doesn’t show you the power of fashion…. You can watch it here.