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7 Fashion Books to Get Inspired

October 06, 2018




As most people would say, we're drawn to visual things. I was always that kid that looked at the pictures in books and watched films because frankly, it was just easier that way. I may not own many books to read, but I definitely have plenty of books purely because they have lots of beautiful visuals in them to keep me engaged. Today I have a list of some of my favourite fashion books that I either own or have borrowed.


I've previously done a similar post focused around how to get fashion inspired -granted that was nearly 2 years ago- but feel free to check it out for more info.

Fashionably Selby by Todd Selby
This book is a recent borrow from the university library and it was one of those that I spotted and instantly fell in love with. The book is filled with stories of creative individuals from around the world, telling their stories on how they live and breathe fashion. Whether that's a girl naturally dying clothes in her garden, a tailor to the stars or an accessories designer crazy about glitter. All these artists have amazing stories about themselves and particularly crazy wonderful working spaces visually shown in the book. I love that you can just browse through it and get an idea of who the person is and what they do, it's at that point I get intrigued and want to find out more about them. I love the doodles across all the pages, kinda reminds me of my art foundation project which had a similar vibe.

How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are by Sophie Mas, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret & Anne Berest
I grabbed this book at a newsagent in Paris when I was inter-railing with my boyfriend a few years ago. It's not one that I have finished reading but pick up every now and then for a quick dose of wit. The stories are hilarious, talking through what goes on in a Parisian woman's head in any situation, such as a dinner party. Everything from recipes to illustrations and advice on love; it's a nice little read.

Why Fashion Matters by Frances Corner
I bought this book in my first year of studying Fashion Marketing and Branding. I felt like although I was studying fashion, I didn't really know that much about it. We watched a documentary in a session about the sustainability side of  fashion (specifically fast fashion) and I just remember feeling like I needed to go away and educate myself. The sustainability issues in fashion are a major topic, with the Rana Plaza scandal exposing the general public to what goes on behind the scenes in making clothes. It became a catalyst for change and sparked the wider awareness and interest in the public asking where their clothes were made. I really enjoyed this book because it wasn't a hard read providing little snippets of information about the industry, from the amount of water used to produce a single cotton t-shirt to where jeans came from and the darker side of their production. Very insightful when you're just about study to or thinking of studying fashion. And to all the fashionistas wanting to do fashion but their parents think its not a good career choice, maybe give them the book to educate themselves in the industry you want to pursue.

The Fashion Book by Alice Mackrell
The dictionary of fashion. From A to Z, learn all about fashion designers, photographers and iconic models who have shaped the fashion industry. I have the smaller edition but the book also comes in a larger format with even more information. This is another one that can help you educate yourself on the industry and the individuals that 'made it'. I have to say this isn't one that I read a lot, I just pick it up every now and then. I've been finding it quite helpful, especially when talking with professionals about fashion and having that little bit of knowledge from the book, means that I can understand or make simple statements about fashion individuals.

The Sartorialist by Scott Schuman
Street fashion at its best. As some of you might have seen, I have been doing some people photography under @quirkydom.jpg, so this book has been great for inspiration when capturing people. I really enjoy looking at how photographers capture people, their style and everything they're about. Portraits are interesting that way because you're not just grabbing a moment in time, you're grabbing everything about the person in the photograph. I've actually been contemplating doing a project around this, maybe a Nottingham street fashion series on the blog?

Spinning off from this, I also recommend watching Bill Cunningham: New York! Watching the documentary really sparked something in me two years ago.

Fashion Trend Forecasting by Gwyneth Holland & Rae Jones
Fashion Forecasting is an area that I've been doing quite a lot of research around as it's potentially something I'd want to go into. I really enjoy reading about this area in books, because they break down all the components like what positions there are in forecasting to how forecasters spot patterns and therefore predict future trends. I think studying my course has also intrigued me in this area as we look a lot at mega trends.

Social Media for Fashion Marketing by Wendy K. Bendoni
So I'm in the process of doing my research for my dissertation and I've found this book super helpful. Social media & influencers are where I'm interested and the book gives a great overview of where it all originated from, digital story telling and the rise of the hyper-connected consumer. Really interesting read, even if you're not studying fashion and are just in the digital marketing area. Social media is everywhere and effects all of us these days, even our parents (my mum has instagram). But it's also become a platform for us to start businesses, blogs or sell services.  We're facing the entrepreneurial era and social media is a vital tool, why not learn about how to make the most of it?

Thanks for reading,
Dom x

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