The great Leonard Cohen passed away. This definitely is the end of an era since all the good ones keep going away to a (surely) better place. Instead of writing a tribute to his life, I kept reading all the amazing words already written by those much wiser than me. In her biography “I’m your man: The Life of Leonard Cohen”, published in 2002, the writer Sylvie Simmons described the Canadian troubadour at age 30. “Leonard sat in his room in his house on the hill in Hydra, writing furiously. He was driven by an overpowering sense of urgency. He had the feeling, he said, of time running out.”
Since I am a writer myself, I can relate to that. It is always a sense of urgency to finish something, an imaginary deadline inside our minds that drives us to push even further and faster. Cohen once stated “I don’t think you can write novels on the road. You need a certain stability.”
To me, stability comes from reading. Whether you are reading one of Hosseini’s heartbreaking novels, Kafka’s Prague stories or just sitting back and enjoying People in Vogue: A Century of Portraits, books are made for relaxing our body, mind and soul. For this feature, I decided to share with you the most enchanting fashion books- glossy, beautiful, substantial and simply impossible to put down. These are my top 10 fashion folios, including the most intriguing ones such as The Beautiful Fall, which charts the rise (and rivalry!) of Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld in Paris during the 1970’s.
Savage Beauty- Harold Koda
This amazing book features beautiful images of the late Alexander McQueen’s most influential and iconic designs from 1995 through to the final show. It also includes insightful and amusing quotes from the designer and a thoughtful essay by Sarah Burton, the creative director of the brand.
100 dresses- Harold Koda
Again, by amazing Harold Koda, it represents a stunning display of 100 gowns from the permanent collection of the Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Featuring designs by Paul Poiret, Coco Chanel, Madame Gres, Yves Saint Laurent, Gianni Versace, Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, and many others.
Irreverent- Carine Roitfeld
This is an elegant visual history tracing the 30-year career of Carine Roitfeld – model, fashion writer and former editor-in-chief of French Vogue. Roitfeld’s famed sense of subversion is celebrated throughout.
Avedon Fashion 1944-2000, Richard Avedon
One of the world’s best photographers, Richard Avedon was credited with helping “define America’s image of style, beauty and culture for the last half-century” in his New York Times obituary in 2004. This book represents a major retrospective of his work.
Tom Ford- Bridget Foley
A complete catalogue of the designer’s work for both Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, chronicling his transformation of the Gucci brand over the past decade and his vision for its future.
Chanel Three Book Set, Francois Baudot and Francoise Aveline
This three-book set examines Chanel’s everlasting legacy via the creative trilogy that made her brand famous; fashion, jewellery and perfume.
The Beautiful Fall: Fashion, Genius and Glorious Excess in 1970’s Paris, Alicia Drake
Chronicles the rise and rivalry of two fashion legends, Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld, in 1970s Paris – a hotbed of style, glamour, passion and ideas.
Helmut Newton, SUMO, June Newton and Helmut Newton
A titanic gem of a book, this 464-page tome is filled with incredible fashion, celebrity and nude portraits from Helmut Newton, widely acknowledged as one of the greatest and most daring photographers of all time.
Nick Knight- Nick Knight
A showcase of one of the world’s most influential photographer’s work, including collaborations with the likes of Bjork, Kylie and David Bowie, as well as some of his editorial work with British Vogue.
Mario Testino: Portraits- Mario Testino
Testino’s talents are further heralded in this anthology of his most striking images, from the rich and famous to unnamed “portraits of desire.”
Photo Credit: covers, amazon.com
Cover Photo: Kate Moss, Books and Art