Was 2012 the year of the fashion book? Tons of great ones came out, from an editor-focused Vogue photography book to a juicy Diana Vreeland biography. And then countless iconic fashion figures, from Kate Moss to Alber Elbaz have been remembered and immortalized in tomes.
Meaning: Trying to figure out what to get your fashion-loving loved one just got a lot easier. As a follow up to last year’s fashion book gift guide, we rounded up the best fashion books from 2012, jotted down a little description and pointed you in the right direction of where to buy.
You’re welcome! And happy holidays.
Ivy Style by Patricia Mears
Published to coincide with the most recent exhibit at the FIT Museum (which runs through January 5), this image-heavy coffee table book traces the evolution of the “Ivy League look” from menswear in the early 20th century through today. It’s not the first book to cover Ivy League style, but it may be the most in-depth.
W: The First 40 Years by Stefano Tonchi and Christopher Bagley
This book is filled with beautiful, iconic photographs of every celebrity and society figure you can think of–actually not everyone, mostly just the ones you actually like–going back 40 years at W. Memorable quotes from old stories and essays by Lynn Hirschberg and Marian McEvoy make this a very enjoyable book. Plus, the cover is gorgeous.
The Editor’s Eye by Conde Nast
This substantial coffee table book, which coincides with an HBO documentary, showcases the work of eight of Vogue‘s most legendary fashion editors, pairing beautiful photographs (by the world’s most renowned fashion photogs) with illuminating interviews with each editor.
The Style Mentors by Elyssa Dimant
This book profiles over 80 fashion “role models,” as they call them, aka girls whose style we all want to emulate, ranging from Brigitte Bardot to Chloe Sevigny. A book like this only works if it’s done well and we think this one is.
Diana Vreeland Empress of Fashion by Amanda Mackenzie Stuart
This new in-depth biography traces not only Vreeland’s career as an influential fashion editor, but also her early life as an unhappy child, but ultimately imaginative, fearless and hard-working young lady. For someone looking for a good, interesting and inspiring read rather than just a pretty photography book.
Grace: A Memoir by Grace Coddington
We know, we can’t stop talking about this autobiography about our favorite editor–maybe person–ever. From her modeling career to her interactions with Anna Wintour to her cats, this is filled with lovely and revealing anecdotes.
Vogue Weddings: Brides, Dresses, Designers by Hamish Bowles
What’s great about this book is it’s not just traditional, boring rich people weddings. There are shoeless models and drunk celebs who get people like Cecil Beaton and Mario Testino to shoot their weddings. It’s a truly enjoyable read and a must-have for anyone with weddings on the brain.
Antonio Lopez: Fashion Art Sex and Disco by Roger Padilha and Mauricio Padilha
Antonio Lopez was one of the most iconic and influential fashion illustrators of all time. This monograph, filled with both his most memorable and never-before-seen illustrations, will instantly transport you to the seemingly more colorful times of the 60s, 70s and 80s.
Decades: a Century of Fashion by Cameron Silver
Every time you see a celebrity in some fabulous vintage gown, Decades boutique owner and vintage fashion expert Cameron Silver probably had something to do with it. This hefty and gorgeous coffee table book has Silver’s flashy personality all over it and contains inspiring photographs of iconic women of decades past, interviews with celebrities and Silver’s own words of sartorial wisdom. Want to become an expert on vintage fashion? Read this.
Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s by Sara James Mnookin
A charming and delightful anthology of personal recollections about this New York institution, this book will make you fall in love with Bergdorf’s if you haven’t already.
Alexander McQueen: The Life and the Legacy by Judith Watt
There is much to be said about the life and the work of legendary designer Alexander McQueen. In this book, author Judith Watt breaks down his collections, from his graduate collection at Central Saint Martins to his final Plato’s Atlantis, and reveals the often-personal inspiration behind his work.
Kate Moss by Kate Moss
Is there anyone more deserving of a photography book than Kate Moss? We aren’t exaggerating when we say we could spend hours, maybe days, looking at pictures of her. Our only concerns about this book are having to decide which cover to get and not getting anything else done due to spending all our time looking at it.
Lauren Conrad Beauty by Lauren Conrad and Elise Loehnen
Lauren Conrad has become a style icon for thousands of young women following her stints on reality TV, and not without reason: the girl does her research! Thankfully, she’s sharing her findings with us in Lauren Conrad Beauty.
Chanel Little Black Jacket by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld
With photographs by Karl Lagerfeld and styling by Carine Roitfeld, it’s pretty much impossible to go wrong. Add a Chanel tweed jacket, and it’s a home run. See the little black jacket styled inventively on the biggest stars of fashion, music, and film.
Advanced Style by Ari Seth Cohen
Ari Seth Cohen chronicles the over-60 fashion set regularly on his blog Advanced Style, helping to bring this often-ignored group of fashion forward folk into the limelight–a place they obviously deserve to be! Advanced Style goes beyond the blog to give interviews, stories, and advice from some of his subjects.
Schiaparelli & Prada: Impossible Conversations by Andrew Bolton
The accompaniment to the Met exhibit of the same name, Schiaparelli & Prada: Impossible Conversations brings together the iconic works of these two designers. Texts and photos attempt to parallel the creations of the designers whose works are separated by several decades.
Opening Ceremony by Carol Lim and Humberto Leon
Opening Ceremony is also celebrating their 10th anniversary, and what better way to commemorate than a book? Full of original photography, ‘zines, and artwork by some of OC’s coolest friends, this is the perfect ode to one of fashion’s favorite stores.
Vice Dos and Donts 2: 17 Years of Street Fashion Critique by The Editors of Vice Magazine
For 17 years, Vice‘s editors have been churning out hilariously captioned photographs of real people-stylish and non, deeming each one a “do” or a “don’t.” You will definitely laugh at loud at this book, which is filled with a very different (and arguably more interesting) brand of street style that came before the Scott Schumans and Tommy Tons of today.
Louis Vuitton / Marc Jacobs: In Association with the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris by Pamela Golbin
Didn’t make it to this year’s “Louis Vuitton/Marc Jacobs” exhibition in Paris? No worries, just add this tome to your wishlist. Tracing the history of Louis Vuitton from the early trunk making days to the high fashion collaborations between Marc Jacobs and artists like Stephen Sprouse, this book is a must for any fan of the brand.
Fuck Yeah Menswear: Bespoke Knowledge for the Crispy Gentleman by Kevin Burrows and Lawrence Schlossman
Mario Testino. in Your Face by Mario Testino
While In Your Face, the Mario Testino exhibition at the MFA in Boston, will be open through February 3, you can bring all the images home with this book. It’s full of stunning photographs that span Testino’s impressive career.
Bob Recine: Alchemy of Beauty by Rene Ricard
You might not be familiar with Bob Recine, but you’ve definitely seen his hair creations on his high profile clients like Lady Gaga.Bob Recine: Alchemy of Beauty assembles sketches, paintings, and collages by the artist and combines them with previously-unseen editorials of his work.
Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful by Bobbi Brown
Makeup queen Bobbi Brown has been teaching women how to look their best for years. With Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful, she makes over dozens of women based on what beauty means to them. It’s the perfect gift for any beauty guru in your life.
The Sartorialist: Closer by Scott Schuman
This is Scott Schuman’s second book of photos from his wildly popular blog The Sartorialist. It contains nearly 40 exclusive images and comes in this special limited hardback edition with a slipcover.
Alber Elbaz, Lanvin by Pascal Dangin
Definitely one of the pricier tomes on the list, Alber Elbaz Lanvin fetes Elbaz’s 10th anniversary with the historic French brand. It documents one collection from start to finish in a way that has never been seen before.