Thoughts

Literary Couture

Other than fashion, one of my biggest passions is reading. I’ve always loved to read; from mysteries, to biographies, to fantasy fictions. Much like fashion, what you like to read says a lot about you as a person. I’ve compiled a list of books related to fashion that I’ve read and enjoyed. They’re a mix of entertainment, interest, and education, and are sure not to disappoint.

1—Diane Von Furstenberg, The Woman I Wanted to Be

I think we can all agree DVF is a queen, and her memoir lives up to her reputation. In the book, she talks about her childhood and the path she took to becoming the woman she is today, not just as a fashion designer, but as a cultural icon, mother, and philanthropist. Reading this book made me feel like DVF herself was whispering her secrets into my ear. She offers life advice that goes far beyond making it in the fashion world, and proves why she has become such a legend.

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2—Christian Dior, The Little Dictionary of Fashion

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If you ask me, this book is like the Bible of the fashion world. Written in 1954 by Mr. Dior himself, it details the history of fashion and provides helpful wardrobe tips for the modern woman. Dior infuses the book with fashion terminology, but doesn’t make it seem like a textbook in doing so. It also contains original sketches and can seem like a relic from a time long forgotten, despite the fact that its advice still mostly holds true. As Dior says, “simplicity, good taste, and grooming are the fundamentals of good dressing.”

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3—Kristin Knox, Culture to Catwalk

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I love this book because it’s unlike anything I’ve ever read. Knox looks at something we don’t often think about: the origins on modern day street-style and RTW. She looks back to the beginning of the fashion industry and the influences of globalization on trends. She also connects how global street-style influences high-fashion runways to this day. You can tell it’s a well-researched book, and it really makes you thinks about fashion’s connection to the larger world.

4—Jerry Oppenheimer, Front Row: Anna Wintour

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This tell-all book is seriously everything. I just finished it and was instantly inspired to share it with everyone I know. The story chronicles how Wintour achieved her podium at the very top of the fashion industry in a rise to power that will inspire any reader starting out in their career. The driving factors for her reinvention from young rebellious Londonite to powerhouse EIC bring home the story of the “Nuclear Wintour.” Whether you love her or hate her, this book will surprise you, and Oppenheimer does a nice job of exposing the woman behind the title while keeping her rep in tact.

5—Annette Tapert, The Power of Style

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This book is like a condensed memoir of every woman who ever meant something in fashion. Tapert looks at the lives and influence of women like Coco Chanel, Elsie de Wolfe, and Jackie O, and picks out the qualities that made them all such defining people in terms of style. There is a second book, The Power of Glamour, that I have yet to read, but I’m confident it follows the same informative and inspiring path as its predecessor.

Let me know if you read any of these great books!

XO,

Ally

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