What do you get the person who has everything? You can’t go wrong with a beautiful coffee table book and this season there are plenty to choose from. Whether it’s the highly-anticipated collection of photographer Glen Luchford’s era-defining campaigns for Prada or the first ever monograph on contemporary painter Cecily Brown, here’s our edit of the most eye catching publications that will make a statement in any sitting room.
by Glen Luchford
When cult publishing house IDEA declares that their latest publication is “one of the greatest fashion photography books ever made”, you sit up and take notice. This lustrous celebration of Glen Luchford’s era-defining collaborative campaigns with Prada, all shot in the late 90s, is packed with dramatic visuals. There’s a broodingly youthful Joaquin Phoenix modelling for Prada Men SS97 and the now-iconic AW97 image of Amber Valletta in a sinking boat on the Tiber in Rome, for which they had to shut down the whole river. Interspersed amongst the photographs, you’ll find contact sheets, alternate takes and location shots, as well as a first person behind-the-scenes account from the man himself. Printed and bound in Italy, this is as covetable as it comes.
Equal and Unequal
Nicholas Fox Weber, the director of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, has put together a wonderful visual biography about textile artist and printmaker Anni and her painter, designer and teacher husband Josef, who together were widely considered the leading pioneers of 20th-century modernism. Indeed, this is the first monograph to celebrate the couple’s incredibly rich oeuvre and legacy in one volume, from their formative years at the Bauhaus through to their time at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, and beyond.
The Complete Collections
When it was first published, this was the only book to chronicle every single Chanel collection ever created by Karl Lagerfeld. The 760-page volume has since been expanded and updated to include the repertoire of Lagerfeld’s successor Virginie Viard, showcasing a staggering 180 collections in total – from Haute Couture and Ready-to-Wear to Cruise and Métier d’arts – organised chronologically and captured across 1500-plus images. With an insightful introduction to both designers written by the Paris-based writer Patrick Mauriès, this is surely a must for any follower of fashion design.
£50, Thames & Hudson
Contemporary British artist Cecily Brown – who studied under Maggi Hambling – rose to prominence in the 1990s and is now one of the most influential painters of our time, known for her expressionistic paintings with their exuberant paintwork, vivid palette and intense energy. This authoritative book, the work of Courtney J. Martin, Jason Rosenfeld and Francine Prose, is not only a visual treat that charts the arc of Cecily’s career and how she has developed her own unique voice, it also places her within the context of her time, with textual and photographic references to everyone from Jimi Hendrix and Francis Bacon to Madonna and Manet.
A rare glimpse into the world of the nature-loving Christian Dior and the central place that flowers hold at the House of Dior. A visual, sartorial and historical feast, each chapter is penned by different authors, all of whom share their own valuable perspectives on the importance of blooms for the couturier and his Maison, from the inaugural show in 1947 to its current collections across haute couture, fragrance and skincare, and jewellery. Contributors include Dior’s artistic directors, as well as Naomi A Sachs, fashion expert Justine Picardie and historian Alain Stella. Though the highlight has to be the chapter entitled “Sublime Beauty, Nick Knight’s Roses”, a series of exquisite portraits of roses taken by the legendary photographer.