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 50 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.
This book charts the story of one of the most influential 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.
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.
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 ccarefree summer chic.
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.
If you loved this article, make sure to check out the Homesthetics blog here for more coffee table inspiration!