Inspired by vintage, led by trends.

10 Stunning Fashion Books For Your Coffee Table

Louisa Rogers

1. Arnold Scaasi - Cut Above by Arnold Scaasi

A visual archive of the work of Arnold Scaasi, compiled by the man himself. This book is about vintage elegance in its' classical form - think Audrey Hepburn and strings of pearls. A wonderful book to leave open on your coffee table for a touch of glamour!

2. Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel by Eric Boman

A true eccentric icon, Iris Apfel, has her styling legacy chronicled in this gorgeous book by Eric Boman. Her outfits are modelled by faceless mannequins in energetic poses, allowing the clothing to come into its own. Indulge in the clashing of eras, patterns, colours and forms that create outfits that are almost accidentally beautiful.

3. Galliano by Colin McDowell

Not a character without controversy, Galliano remains a central figure in the fashion world of the last 30 years. This book looks at his journey in couture and his sources of inspiration. What is particularly compelling about this book is being able to learn about the creative process of creating a collection - as well as plenty of seductive full colour editorial images.

4. Yves Saint Laurent - 5, Avenue Marceau by David Teboul and Pierre Berge

An unassuming cover hides an intimate look at the studio of Yves Saint Laurent when he was still alive. Full bleed behind the scenes images make up the bulk of this book, which paints an intimate and atmospheric portrait of the workings behind a major fashion show. A great buy for fashion students and anyone who wants a more down to earth and gritty glimpse of the couture world.

5. Pucci - A Renaissance In Fashion by Shirley Kennedy

This book charts the story of one of the most instantly recognisable fashion houses of the 20th century. Bound by actual Pucci fabric, this coffee table book is a collector's item in itself. It is a colourful journey through Pucci's designs from retro to modern-day, rich with text and images and peppered with celebrities sporting the signature graphic prints.

6. Christian Dior - The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This book is a chronology of Dior's couture creations, mainly drawn from the Costume Instititute's collection. The high quality, clean photography makes this book a fantastic gift for pattern cutters or seamstresses who have an interest in garment construction and embellishment. Flick through it for a dose of ultra elegant femininity, then go out and buy yourself a vintage ballgown!

7. The New Look - The Dior Revolution by Nigel Cawthorn

Another Dior book had to be included in this list because of the importance of the post-war 'New Look' that saw the House of Dior cement its name in fashion history. Learning about the cultural context of this movement is truly fascinating, and by bringing in the relevance of the other tastemakers about at the time (Chanel, Beaton, Bacall etc.), Cawthorne provides a holistic account of womenswear at the time.

8. Louis Feraud - Office du Livre

Whilst Louis Feraud is no longer an operating business, his clothing continues to sell consistently on sites such as Vestiaire Collective. The constant reinvention of this designer's collections gave way to an incredibly diverse range of clothing - from tailored tweed to floaty kaftans in rainbow colours. This book has stunning vintage fashion photography to brighten up any room.

9. Celia Birtwell by Celia Birtwell and Dominic Lutyens

Printmaker, dressmaker, illustrator... Celia Birtwell did it all. With a recent collaboration with Valentino selling out, her feminine prints seem to be no less relevant than they were in the 1950s and 60s. It's lovely to see her illustrations side by side with editorial images of the pieces being worn. A fantastic read for a cosy winter night, when you need a dose of colour and carefree summer looks.

10. Thierry Mugler - Fashion, Fetish, Fantasy by Claude Deloffre and Marylou Luther

A very different flavour from our previous pick, the dark and theatrical garments of Thierry Mugler lend themselves to a big, glossy book full of enchanting editorial imagery. Always outlandish but never frivolous, his fashion remains incredibly popular on the vintage market.

What On Earth Is The Trend Lifecycle?

StudioLouisa Rogers

You often hear designers and fashion journalists talking about something called the 'Fashion Cycle.' It's a sort of unspoken, universal rule of fashion that dictates how trends live and die. What is interesting is that in recent times, the fashion cycle has seriously shortened and although the '20 year rules' still holds true to an extent (that what was popular 20 years beforehand 'comes back around' in varying incarnations), the truth is that as the garment lifecycle diminishes, so does the trend lifespan.

Where are trends born?

Trends used to be 'born' from the brains of designers. Creative, attentive to culture and social context, in the 20th-century designers, tended to create fashion from their own influences and experiences. During times of social upheaval or difficulty (recession, war), trends arose from 'what people had' rather than what they wanted. Being resourceful led to what became fashionable. For example, when 'blackouts' were imposed in wartime Britain, a trend for glow-in-the-dark accessories emerged. The original 'street style' trends were present in the form of subcultures but would only achieve widespread adoption through celebrity figureheads in the music or film industry with the means to popularise styles through large concerts or films (think Punk and The Sex Pistols, or the Hippy indie films of the 60s and 70s).

In the 21st century, things have changed. In the early noughties, there was still a fairly rigid 'fashion hierarchy' in place. The top glossy magazines (think Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, W) and editors curated the catwalk for their readers and offered summaries of the main trends for the seasons.  You would get your fashion fix by scouring a limited number of websites or by buying a magazine and having a thumb through the editorials.

In the past five years, however, the democratisation of fashion has given the power to the people. Trends no longer 'trickle down' from catwalk to magazine, to personal wardrobe, but now also 'trickle up.'


How do trends begin online?

Large audiences are no longer needed for the dissemination of trends, just the virality and uniqueness to appeal to online news outlets such as Buzzfeed. A multiplier effect takes place when trends begin on social media, and when journalists and cultural commentators can collate several styles of the same trend from multiple different sources: they have a story. Influencers with followers in the tens of thousands begin to adopt the trend, giving it the mainstream appeal that seems more authentic and directly applicable to everyday life to people than the catwalks ever did, and by this time, the Zaras of the world are listening up: for the people have spoken (or, you know, "liked & shared").

The benefit of trends trickling up is that the demand is already there and readily made. The brands and designers are not having to thrust their goods on people hoping that they will want them but can take an almost data-driven approach to what they put out there, when, and how. This phenomenon has happened most recently with ruffled sleeves in cotton shirts, gingham check and flared trousers.

01062018-DSC_7226-Modifier (1).JPG

How do trends “die”?

The way that trends die has more or less stayed the same. Once the market reaches a saturation point, the trend is in every shop on the high street, in varying iterations and at increasingly lower price, the trend has now 'died.' It may still be popular and widely worn, but the 'tastemakers' at the top of the traditional fashion hierarchy and the 'influencers' who build their living on spotting the next 'big thing' must move on, to stay modern, creative and desirable.

Why Buy True Vintage Clothing?

true vintageLouisa Rogers

As the owner of a small online vintage shop and soon-to-be-launched vintage platform in the form of, I feel the need to spread the good word of vintage fashion! So forget your prejudices and just enjoy the fantastic clothing that the 20th century had to offer...

I personally buy most of my clothes second hand – This not only is kinder on my wallet than high street shopping, but it also allows me to be a lot more creative with my sense of style, and view dressing in the morning as an enjoyable, almost artistic activity, rather than a chore. I have compiled a list of the pros of buying vintage, in the hope of convincing more of you to explore the side of clothing that can be more special and treasured than high street throwaways.

1. It's Eco Friendly

Honestly, there are many fashion companies who would rather send their goods to landfill than ‘pollute’ their image by donating clothes to charity (Have you ever seen a homeless person dressed in head to toe Dior? Didn’t think so.) Not only is this a horrifically wasteful and disgusting mentality, but it is incredibly unsustainable. Wearing vintage means you are recycling clothing that would otherwise be rotting in a dump somewhere. Consider it a sartorial rescue mission.

2. It’s special

Vintage clothes are rare and often unique, which makes them special. Designer vintage is unique, special and often very valuable. You are wearing clothes that you would normally only see in your family’s old photographs or referenced in modern pop videos – that’s pretty cool.

3. It’s (often) cheaper

There are some quite expensive vintage boutiques, but if you look for your items in car boot sales, charity shops, estate sales, the chances are you are paying much less than what you would for a brand new version of the same item. Keep an eye out for 90s platforms at low prices, as they are currently selling online for very inflated prices!

4. It’s not ‘Gross’

Seeing shopping secondhand and vintage as ‘disgusting’ is an ignorant way to think. Whilst vintage items won’t appeal to everyone’s style, even charity shops only accept items that have been thoroughly cleaned and checked over before being put on the shop floor. Specialised vintage boutiques are even more vigilant with their items, often spending a significant amount of money on cleaning and restoring items before putting them up for sale. And yes, Charity shops often accept bulk donations of people who have died – but the chances they actually popped their clogs in the sweater you bought is still pretty low.

This article originally appeared on my good friend's Noelia's website: They offer personalised styling advice and are on the pulse of fashion, I highly recommend a sign up.