Does your reading list need a makeover? Spruce it up with some of the latest books to crack open the magic and mystery of fashion through vibrant photographs and insider stories.
• “ALEXANDER McQUEEN: UNSEEN” — It’s been six years since the untimely death of British designer Alexander McQueen, and there’s still so much the fashion world doesn’t know about the breadth and depth of his talents. His longtime photographer Robert Fairer, Vogue’s Sally Singer and McQueen expert Claire Wilcox fill in some of those gaps in “Alexander McQueen: Unseen” (Yale University Press, $65). Never-before-seen photos of his designs on and off the catwalk along with essays about him offer a rare glimpse into his artistry and aura.
• “AMERICAN DREAMER: MY LIFE IN FASHION & BUSINESS” — It sometimes seems there’s nothing Tommy Hilfiger can’t do. He’s transformed football fields into fashion shows, thrown a carnival to launch a new collection and built a brand that’s known worldwide for its preppy-cool Americana vibe. Now he’s added author to his list of accomplishments with the release of “American Dreamer: My Life in Fashion & Business” ($30, Ballantine Books), which he penned with Peter Knobler. The memoir is a raw and touching account of the designer’s humble upbringing, the development of his namesake label and how he turned it into a global fashion powerhouse.
• “VERSACE” — “Versace” (Rizzoli, $95), a visual history of the renowned Italian fashion house, is sure to dress up any coffee table with its exquisite collection of exclusive contemporary and archival photos, backstage imagery and behind-the-scenes shots. In particular, the photography chronicles the brand’s evolution under the leadership of Donatella Versace, who took over as creative artistic director in 1997 and is the book’s lead author. Curator/critic Maria Luisa Frisa, W magazine editor Stefano Tonchi, Business of Fashion editor-at-large Tim Blanks and the late writer Ingrid Sischy are among the book’s other key contributors.
• “PERFUME: A CENTURY OF SCENTS” — Ever wonder how some of the beauty industry’s most beloved fragrances came to be? What about those that were once widely spritzed and then forgotten? Lizzie Ostrom has the scoop on all things aromatic in “Perfume: A Century of Scents” (Pegasus Books, $26.95), slated to be released Tuesday. Rich and intriguing, this book explores the relationship between scents of the 20th century and their ties to politics, gender dynamics, fashion trends and the technologies of their time.
• “VOGUE: THE SHOE” — For those with a soft spot for shoes, “Vogue: The Shoe” (Conran Octopus, $125) is essential eye candy. Style writer Harriet Quick, the former fashion features director for British Vogue, has packed in more than 300 images arranged into five footwear categories: Cinderella shoes, town and country, cult style, summer dreaming, and fetish and fantasia. So kick off your shoes and enjoy!