Ten best fashion and design books of 2019


Design books

Lagerfeld: The Chanel Shows/, Rizzoli

Following the death of Karl Lagerfeld earlier this year, committed fashionistas will appreciate this homage to his vision, Lagerfeld: The Chanel Shows. Ten of the designer’s most imaginative and influential fashion shows for Chanel, photographed by British photographer Simon Proctor, are showcased. The book captures the buzz and spectacle of these extraordinary events, ranging from the recreation of a lush forest scene to a rocket launch. (Credit: Rizzoli)

Tim Walker: Shoot for the Moon

Tim Walker, Thames & Hudson

The exhibition Tim Walker: Wonderful Things at London’s V&A was a fantastical journey through the visionary photographer’s imagination. And also this year, a monograph of Walker’s work was published, Tim Walker: Shoot for the Moon (Thames & Hudson). The book’s title derives from a quote by the US author Norman Vincent Peale: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars.” The book features Walker’s most recent work.

Breaking Ground: Architecture by Women

Breaking Ground, Phaidon

For decades many female architects have been erased from history. Addressing the scandal of these invisible women is a book by Jane Hall, titled Breaking Ground (Phaidon). Featuring the works of women including the well-known – such as Zaha Hadid, Ray Eames, Eileen Gray and Jane Drew – the book also explores the not so well-known, whose significance has been largely ignored. Breaking Ground also reevaluates the authorship of buildings that have been wrongly attributed to men, and attempts to disentangle the often complex working relationships of architectural husband-and-wife teams.

Faded Glamour

Faded Glamour, Cico

Faded Glamour (Cico) explores beautiful houses full of unique vintage finds, from lacquer cabinets and velvet sofas, to lace curtains and silk bedspreads. Put together by designer Pearl Lowe, whose own Georgian home is featured, the book is a celebration of eclecticism and rock ‘n’ roll bohemianism. If grand, romantic, glamorous interiors are your thing, look no further for inspiration and ideas.

Fabien Baron: Works 1983-2019

Fabien Baron Works, Phaidon

Creative director Fabien Baron has been a significant influence on the visual language of fashion through his magazine design – he was art director of Interview for many years – as well as his direction of advertising campaigns and branding. His monograph, published by Phaidon, is a lavish tome full of design inspiration, and showcases Baron’s unique graphic approach over the past four decades. Written by Adam Gopnik, the book also features a foreword by Kate Moss.

Prada Catwalk: The Complete Collections

Prada Catwalk, Thames & Hudson

Opening with a brief history of Prada – founded as a luxury leather-goods business in Milan in 1913, then entering fashion under the direction of Miuccia Prada in 1979 – this is a definitive look at the Italian fashion house, published by Thames & Hudson. The landmark collections are explored chronologically, showing how it became one of the world’s most influential designer brands, with a quietly subversive attitude all its own. The author is Susannah Frankel, editor-in-chief of AnOther magazine.

Dior/ Lindbergh Archives

Peter Lindbergh Dior, Taschen

Another sad loss to the fashion world in 2019 was Peter Lindbergh, the German photographer who created many iconic images throughout his long career. This two-volume book for Taschen is one of his last, and showcases Dior’s extraordinary archive of outfits. Lindbergh gathered various supermodels – among them Carolyn Murphy, Alek Wek and Amber Valletta – and photographed them in New York’s Times Square, wearing the archival outfits.

Walter Gropius: Visionary Founder of the Bauhaus

Walter Gropius, Faber & Faber

Much has been written about the legendary Bauhaus, particularly in 2019, the design school’s centenary year. However, acclaimed biographer Fiona McCarthy’s book, published by Faber, on the movement’s influential founder Walter Gropius is particularly vivid and insightful. As The Guardian review puts it: “In short, she shows the man behind the forcefield. Go to Ikea and you’ll see how much we still owe him.”

William Morris’s Flowers

William Morris's Flowers, V&A

Arguably the first ever eco-warrior, 19th-Century textiles-and-wallpaper designer William Morris was a passionate advocate of craftsmanship over mass production. His best-known designs are based on natural forms, and this lavishly illustrated volume focusses on his principal motif, the flower. The book, published by the V&A, explores Morris’s many inspirations, and includes his completed patterns, as well as drawings in pen and watercolour.

Women in Design

Women in Design, Laurence King

All areas of design are featured in this book by Charlotte Fiell and Clementine Fiell, including fashion, furniture, product, textiles and more. The book, published by Laurence King, includes more than 100 profiles of inventive, pioneering women designers, from the recently rediscovered, such as Charlotte Perriand, to much lesser-known innovators who have also helped to shape the world of design.



Written by Loknath Das