It was fun in the beginning… way back at the start of 2020, to wear super comfy clothes, or only dress the top half of our bodies ready for endless zoom meetings. But now, a year on, and while we are still staying safe at home, pulling on trackies or leggings when we aren’t actually exercising is turning a little sloth-like, possibly making us a little sluggish and less like we can take on the world. Fear not, Team Booko has rustled up a few fabulous books that will inspire you to dust off the wardrobe and dress like you mean business… or at least feel like your old self again.
Get the iron at the ready because you may just fancy getting dressed after reading about these titles… don’t worry, you can still keep your slippers on.
The Little Guide to Coco Chanel Style by Orange Hippo
This little guide is full of wit and wisdom from Coco Chanel, who remains one of the world’s most celebrated fashion designers and the creative genius who gave us the Little Black Dress and Chanel No. 5. Almost 50 years after her death, Coco Chanel remains one of the world’s most influential fashion designers. Her story is one of creative brilliance and innovation, she was a driving force in freeing women from the restrictive clothing they had been obliged to wear for generations. ‘In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different,’ Chanel would say, and throughout her life she demonstrated extraordinary passion and determination to change the world around her. There is much wisdom to glean from Chanel’s self-reflections, while her sharp wit and joie de vivre will amuse, surprise and inspire in equal measure.
Vivienne Westwood Catwalk: The Complete Collections by Alexander Fury
One of the most thought-provoking and influential designers in the world, Vivienne Westwood once declared ‘the only reason I’m in fashion is to destroy the word “conformity”’. Vivienne Westwood has been reinventing, changing and challenging the world of fashion for over five decades. Celebrating 40 years of catwalk collections, this book records the inimitable creations imagined by Vivienne Westwood since her first runway show in 1981, as well as those designed by her husband and long-time collaborator, Andreas Kronthaler. Complete with an introduction and collection texts by Alexander Fury, and biographies written by the designers themselves, Vivienne Westwood Catwalk offers a rare opportunity to chart the development of a uniquely creative fashion house. This book offers an unrivalled overview of the collections of the world’s top fashion houses through original catwalk photography.
The international fashion world is not only a hotbed of creativity, but also a fast-moving and mercurial one. This book cherry-picks some of the most intriguing editorials, covers and campaigns of 2020 and places them within the zeitgeist. In a year in which the carpet was swept out from under us, the sudden loss of stability also gave rise to new creativity, freedom, and surprise as fashion magazines began taking a more active political stance. Presented here in detail are the inspiring minds of photographers, stylists, models, and editors behind this sudden change in paradigm.
This compilation was selected by an international jury of 12 that includes Ariel Foxman, former Editor-in-Chief of InStyle, Donald Schneider, former art director of French Vogue and creative mind of the H&M designer collaborations, Sara Maino, Deputy Director of Vogue Italia and head of Vogue Talents, and street-style icon and influencer Veronika Heilbrunner. The Fashion Yearbook 2021 is a précis of the protagonists behind the scenes in an impressive illustrated book.
Clothes… and other things that matter by Alexandra Shulman
Clothes…and other things that matter is a book not only about clothes but about the way we live our lives. From childhood onwards, the way we dress is a result of our personal history. In a mix of memoir, fashion history and social observation. Alexandra Shulman delves into her own life to look at the emotions, ambitions, expectations and meanings behind the way we dress. From the bra to the bikini, the trench coat to trainers, the slip dress to the suit, she explores their meaning in women’s lives and how our wardrobes intersect with the larger world the career ladder, motherhood, romance, sexual identity, ambition, failure, body image and celebrity. It’s funny, refreshingly self-deprecating and often very moving; this startlingly honest memoir from the ex-editor of British Vogue will encourage women of all ages to consider what their own clothes mean to them, the life they live in them and the stories they tell.
The Ten: The stories behind the fashion classics by Lauren Cochrane
White T-shirt, Miniskirt, Hoodie, Jeans, Ballet flat, Breton top, Biker jacket, Little black dress, Stiletto, Trench. What are you wearing? In all likelihood, your outfit will feature at least one of these 10 items (paired with either trackpants or leggings while we stay safe at home). Familiar, commonplace, ubiquitous – each piece has become an emblem of a certain style, carrying its own connotations and historical significance. They aren’t just clothes, our social history is contained within these perfect 10 pieces. They’re vessels that hold the history of style, politics and identity: while trends may come and go, these are here to stay. The Ten includes deep dive explorations into each item’s history, how it gained its reputation, and what it means today, accompanied by stylish photography and illustrations. Stories of iconic adopters and landmarks in the story of each piece reveal how they have achieved their status as so ubiquitous and yet so extraordinary. From the evolution of the white T-shirt from army staple to symbol of achingly cool simplicity, the hoodie’s birth in the monasteries of Rome to its domination of streetwear, and the transition of the stiletto from the feet of fifteenth-century Iranian equestrians to those of New York businesswomen, The Ten puts fashion in context. Showing how certain pieces are just as ubiquitous on the catwalk as on the street, Lauren Cochrane’s crucial volume defines the fashion items that make up your wardrobe, and how they got there, providing the perfect excuse, a pedigree, a narrative, and a realness, for the reader to wear them time and time again.
You probably know the statistics: global clothing production has roughly doubled in just 15 years, and every year an estimated 300,000 tonnes of used clothing ends up in landfill in the UK alone. In Australia we consume an average of 27 kilograms of new clothing per year and dispose an average 23 kilograms of that to landfill. Fast fashion is the ultimate toxic relationship. It’s bad news for the planet, our brains and our bank balances. We can’t go on like this; our shopping habits need an overhaul. Journalist Lauren Bravo loves clothes more than anything, but she’s called time on her affair with fast fashion in search of a slower, saner way of dressing. In this book, she’ll help you do the same. How To Break Up With Fast Fashion will help you to change your mindset, fall back in love with your wardrobe and embrace more sustainable ways of shopping, from the clothes swap to the charity shop. Full of refreshing honesty and realistic advice, Lauren will inspire you to repair, recycle and give your unloved items a new lease of life without sacrificing your style. Because fashion belongs to everyone, but no outfit should cost us the earth.