Fashion’s new season doesn’t just mean the arrival of fresh trends, it also brings with it a crop of exceptionally beautiful fashion coffee table books devoted to style and sartorialism. And this year is no exception. From an exquisite tribute to the late Virgil Abloh’s years as men’s Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton and a stunning box set of Sarah Moon’s work for the House of Dior to a deep-dive into the world of visionary couturier Pierre Cardin and a dazzling homage to Tiffany & Co., these newly-published books will add a chic touch to any home.
New Fashion Coffee Table Books
Dior by Sarah Moon
Parisian publishing house Delpire & Co presents three volumes of 120 black-and-white and colour photographs by Sarah Moon for the House of Dior. Maria Grazia Chiuri, Creative Director of Dior women’s collections, only ever works with female photographers and she has for a while collaborated with Moon. For this, the photographer – famous for her blurred, ethereal photographic style – was commissioned to capture the many facets of Dior and its creations. The first volume consists of black-and-white compositions, featuring Majorcan model Andrea Gutiérrez wearing original designs from 1947 to 1957. The second book delves into the Dior archives, with pieces by Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Chiuri, which Moon has photographed in her unique style. The third opus captures Moon’s work with Chiuri over the past six years, highlighting both their working partnership and the evolution of the Creative Director’s work. With text by Moon, fashion historian Olivier Saillard and Chiuri, interweaved with quotes from Dior himself, this boxed set is surely the pinnacle of coffee table chic.
€120, Delpire & Co
Karl Lagerfeld Unseen: The Chanel Years
When Karl Lagerfeld took the reins at Chanel in 1983, he set about restoring the French fashion house to its former glory (it had been 12 years since its founder Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel had died). And wow did he succeed. The extraordinary designer reinterpreted and rejuvenated the maison’s codes, giving his own unique spin to the little black dress, the two-tone shoes, the quilted handbags, the pearls, the tweeds… and cementing the label as one of the most successful luxury brands of all time. “My job is not to do what she did, but what she would have done,” he once said. “The good thing about Chanel is it is an idea you can adapt to many things.” Karl Lagerfeld Unseen is a glossy tribute to Lagerfeld’s incredible creations for the house, filled with never-before-seen, behind-the-scenes images by US Vogue photographer Robert Fairer that document the key Chanel collections. And so you have photographs of discreet client fittings in rue Cambon and fascinating backstage moments that show the designer at work, alongside text from collaborators and friends, all of which beautifully encapsulate Lagerfeld’s spirit and creativity.
£60, Thames & Hudson
The Fendi Set: From Bloomsbury to Borghese
This fascinating book looks at the relationship between Kim Jones, artistic director of couture and womenswear at Fendi, and the Bloomsbury Set. Jones drew inspiration from the group of early 20th century writers, intellectuals and artists, including Virginia Woolf, Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, for his first couture show for Fendi From Bloomsbury to Borghese. This book is a celebration of both the collection and Jones’s creative process. The photographs have been taken by Nikolai von Bismarck, who captures the starry model lineup from the show (Kate and Lila Moss, Demi Moore, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Gwendoline Christie) at some of the Bloomsbury Set and Fendi’s iconic landmarks including Charleston House, Knole House, and Sissinghurst Castle in England and Rome’s Villa Medici and Villa Borghese. Interspersed amongst the ethereal images are letters, diary entries and excerpts from the Bloomsbury Set, while a preface by Tilda Swinton completes this ode to fashion, literature and photography.
This is the first – and only – monograph on Steven Klein, one of the most revered photographers in contemporary fashion. Known for his extravagant, hyperreal and highly charged images, Klein’s work has captivated the industry for the past three decades, his singular vision subverting notions of fame, glamour and beauty. When he photographs A-list stars, for example, he’ll always add his own provocative spin to the shoot (Linda Evangelista once posed for him in head-to-toe bondage gear). Klein’s edgy aesthetic has seen him work for clients including Balenciaga, Dolce & Gabbana, Tom Ford, Alexander McQueen and Louis Vuitton and appear in Interview, W, Vogue, Vogue Italia, Vogue Paris, Vogue Hommes and i-D. This book brings all of his most iconic photographs together, allowing the reader to fully appreciate how Klein blurs the line between fiction and reality, enabling his subjects to disappear into the narrative of his own imagination.
Louis Vuitton: Virgil Abloh
“There’s no limit… life is so short that you can’t waste even a day subscribing to what someone thinks you can do versus knowing what you can do.” Just one of many inspirational quotes from Virgil Abloh (also known as ‘Abloh-isms’) in Louis Vuitton: Virgil Abloh. The book is the first about the visionary designer – who was men’s Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton – since his untimely passing in November 2021. It is written by his close collaborator, the fashion writer Anders Christian Madsen, who gives readers a real insight into the designer’s world and his tenure at the Maison. With over 320 images and personal reflections from Abloh’s inner circle – Nigo, Naomi Campbell, Luka Sabbat, Kendall Jenner and Kid Cudi included – this is a fitting tribute to a man whose creativity on and off the runway knew no limits. The book has been released with two different covers, though sneaker heads might want to get their hands on the Ultimate edition which, as well as being packaged in a collectible box, features a separate insert cataloguing every single sneaker that Abloh designed for Louis Vuitton.
Pierre Cardin: Making Fashion Modern
2022 marks the centenary of Pierre Cardin’s birth and Making Fashion Modern celebrates the revolutionary couturier – whose career in the fashion industry spanned over seven decades – in style. Cardin’s long-time collaborator Jean-Pascal Hesse has authored the book, focusing on the designer’s early days in Paris, and how the creative influences he was to encounter there went on to define his later iconic work of the 1950s and 60s. During those decades, he dressed everyone from Jackie Kennedy and Brigitte Bardot to Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn, as well as The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, who rocked his famous collarless suits. But as well as pioneering ready-to-wear and turning haute couture on its head, Cardin was an innovator elsewhere too. He was the first couturier to launch a menswear collection; and he also branched out into furniture design to theatre costumes, jewellery, perfumes and accessories, building an empire from China to the United States. Illustrating Cardin’s extraordinary journey are personal anecdotes from Cardin himself, as well as previously unpublished photos and documents, all of which draw a picture of a man who ripped up the rulebook to do fashion his own way.
This is a definitive history of the French fashion house Chloé, which was founded by Gaby Aghion in 1952 for the modern, liberated woman. “The world was opening before my eyes and I believed I could do anything. I felt I had wings… All I ever wanted was for Chloé to have a happy spirit and to make people happy,” she once said. Seventy years on, it remains one of the most forward-looking fashion houses of its day. The publication opens with a concise look at the maison’s past, before exploring its 130 collections, all presented chronologically. As the pages unfurl, this is a real insight into not just the clothes (over 1,100 looks have been included) but also the house’s creatives over the years, from founder Aghion and Karl Lagerfeld to Martine Sitbon, Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo, Clare Waight Keller and the brand’s current and first South American Creative Director Gabriela Hearst. Written by Lou Stoppard and with a preface by fashion journalist Suzy Menkes, this is a fashion gem.
£60, Thames & Hudson
Tiffany & Co. Vision and Virtuosity
Jewels glitter on every page of this homage to Tiffany & Co. Written by jewellery historian Vivienne Becker with a foreword by André Leon Talley, this book – conceived as the catalogue to accompany the Vision & Virtuosity exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery over the summer – encapsulates the jewellery house’s dazzling heritage. From its inception in 1837 in New York to the globally renowned brand it is today, Becker tells Tiffany’s tale beautifully, touching on everything from its creative inspirations and iconic designers – Jean Schlumberger, Elsa Peretti and Paloma Picasso among them – to the stories behind the famous blue box, the classic film Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the priceless yellow Tiffany Diamond. Plus, of course, alongside the brand’s 185-year-old history are endless images of the most exquisite jewels and archival gems. For added sparkle, the Ultimate version (£695) is a handcrafted silk volume and comes in a silk clamshell case.
Being There: Gavin Bond
He’s always been behind the lens, but now it’s Gavin Bond’s turn in the spotlight. The British commercial photographer – one of the most sought-after in the world – is the subject of a new book, the coffee-table-worthy Being There. It is packed with photographs taken by Bond during the 1990s, when he was granted backstage access at all the most prestigious fashion shows. There are behind-the-scenes shots of designers such as Jean-Paul Gaultier, McQueen and Lagerfeld making last-minute outfit adjustments and images of all the supermodels wearing them (Naomi, Claudia, Linda, Kate, Shalom Harlow, Nadja Auermann, Carla Bruni, Stella Tennant, Alek Wek et al). But while we see fashion’s sparkling side – the flowing Champagne, the billowing gowns, the electric atmosphere – we also see the high emotions, including a striking shot of a young Kate Moss, looking anxious as she prepares to walk topless down the runway for Westwood. A fascinating observation of the ultra-glamorous world of 90s fashion.
Art X Fashion
If ever two worlds were made to co-exist it would be art and fashion. Indeed, they are so inextricably intertwined that renowned fashion author Nancy Hall-Duncan has devoted an entire book to the topic. Through 75 pairings of designer pieces and artworks, she underscores the art behind some of fashion’s most coveted and celebrated designs. And so you have Yves Saint Laurent’s 1965 cocktail dresses that evoked the abstract canvases of Piet Mondrian; Dolce & Gabbana’s lavish SS08 dress adorned with Monet’s waterlilies; Sarah Burton’s interpretation of a 16th century portrait of Elizabeth I for Alexander McQueen AW13; and Gianni Versace’s SS91 jewel-encrusted Warhol inspired evening gown to name a few. More recent collaborations include Yayoi Kusama and Takashi Murakami working with Louis Vuitton and Raf Simons’ work with Sterling Ruby. This fresh spin on fashion design is truly a work of art in itself.