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Seven fashion book ideas for Christmas Books, rather than clothes, are the ideal Christmas present for those who love fashion. Paradoxically, these are the people for whom you should never buy clothes. Try these instead: An uplifting retrospective of the last ten years of US Harper s Bazaar, by editor in chief Glenda Bailey, this is the book that will remind you that fashion is an art form, and in fact bears little relation to what someone from The Saturdays is wearing. Bold and inspiring imagery from the visionaries of fashion photography including Peter Lindbergh (Bazaar s most prolific contributor), Patrick Demarchelier, Nan Goldin and Mario Sorrenti, alongside writing by Arianna Huffington, Suzy Menkes, Karl Lagerfeld and Patti Smith, illustrates with every turn of the page why art and beauty matter and why Harper s Bazaar is the master of showcasing them. This is chiefly down to the wit and warmth with which it treats its subjects. Bazaar doesn t take anything too seriously and is always in touch with the world outside of fashion, ready to parody but never ridicule its field, making it among the most intelligent and yet accessible of fashion magazines. Their pop culture mash up spreads include The Simpsons Go To Paris, featuring yellow versions of Linda Evangelista, Alber Elbaz and Jean Paul Gaultier; Tyra Banks playing the First Lady, snuggled up in bed with a "Fauxbama" in matching Harvard sweatshirts; and wickedly knowing shots of stylist Rachel Zoe being poisoned, strangled, and buried in pile of shoes and bags by Vera Wang, Francisco Costa and Michael Kors respectively, in a nod to both her catchphrase "I die", and to designers attitudes towards her ilk. The editorial highlights are abundant, but the pinnacle has to be Naomi Campbell racing a cheetah and straddling a crocodile, in an astonishing spread by Jean Paul Goude that owes more to wildlife film than fashion photography, her grace and power reminding you that she was a great model long before she was a tabloid favourite. Vogue: The Covers, by Dodie Kazanjian (foreword by Hamish Bowles). Abrams, 35 A collection of US Vogue covers spanning 120 years since its debut, this is a neat chronicle of the evolution of style, publishing and women s roles in society from 1892 to present day. From the first decade delicate line illustrations of women engaged in all manner of genteel pursuits (with the bold exception of, gasp, cycling in bloomers in 1894) each era is instantly identifiable. From the art nouveau designs of the first decade of the twentieth century, to the bold modernism and cubist influence of the 1920s, the earlier covers are a timeline of art history, while the patriotic imagery of the 1940s, buy ugg online the 1970s proclamations on what working women should be wearing, and the hilariously telling Money: the new glitz from one 1980s issue, make the book an enjoyable romp through the 20th century. The saddening aspect is the unfolding of how anodyne covers became as soon as celebrities started appearing on them, a well documented and divisive innovation by Anna Wintour upon her arrival as editor in 1988. Approach this chronology with the expectation that the first half will be an exploration of beautifully executed design, while the latter will offer insight into modern culture. The 1992 cover featuring Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford "on marriage, meditation and MTV" manages to epitomise the early 1990s in one image and five words. Just like fashion itself, the cover lines and images will tell you most of what you want to know about ugg cove boots society s values at any given time, which is why this collection is a bitter sweet, although fascinating, read. Gone are the covers worthy of hanging on a wall and lines about advancements in birth control, to be replaced by celebrities and promises of weight loss techniques. 100 Ideas That Changed Fashion, by Harriet Worsley. Laurence King, 19.95 A snappy yet informed and informative read, this slim volume is a chronicle of pop culture references that have informed the way we dress today and the symbiotic relationship between fashion and society, and one of the best buys of the fashion titles to be published this year. Worsley teaches fashion journalism at Central St Martins, where she studied, and her enthusiasm for and knowledge of her subject can t fail to engage. From the death of the corset to protest dressing, shoulder pads to surrealism, rationing to Doc Martens, Belgian Deconstruction to Benetton adverts, the breadth of subjects covered makes this essential reading for anyone with an interest in 20th century design, innovation and social change. Although even dedicated followers of fashion may not have known that prior to Queen Victoria s wedding the most popular choices for wedding gowns were pink and blue among the middle and upper classes, and black for the working classes, chosen for practicality so it could be worn again in everyday life. Worsley illuminates the mundane, with a chapter on the history of the zip, from its first shocking use in womenswear by Elsa Schiaparelli in the 1930s to Vivienne Westwood s no less controversial 1970s bondage trousers, making for surprisingly interesting reading, while a brief examination of nudity in fashion reminds us how far we have come in a hundred years, and the sociology of tights goes deeper than you may have thought. Less Is More: Minimalism in Fashion, by Harriet Walker. Merrell, 35 A ugg outlet store online uk definitive and intellectual yet accessible guide to minimalism as a movement in fashion, Harriet Walker s examination of the concept is comprehensive. Walker, who writes on fashion for The Independent, argues that the reach of minimalism is far wider than can be encapsulated by the reeling off of names predictably and traditionally associated with it. She begins with the origins of minimalism in fashion, with Cristobal Balenciaga and Coco Chanel, whose take on minimalism focused on the simplification of womenswear as an instrument and reflection of social change. She goes on to examine the influences from beyond the fashion world that have contributed to the movement s aesthetic, from Bauhaus and Modernism, to the abstract sculptures of Donald Judd in the 1960s, who called his work: "the simple expression of complex thought," to Japanese culture and the concept of Zen, via philosophical absolutism, architecture, even the literature of Virginia Woolf. Minimalism is often seen as too avant garde and intellectual, with the execution of it by some designers too challenging and unwearable, despite its inherent simplicity, to be accessible, but in Walker s own words, this book: seeks to explain how the aesthetic is fundamental to a much broader social spectrum. It succeeds, outlining how minimalism manifests itself through economic cycles as an indicator of market forces, and examining its varying incarnations, including futurism courtesy of Courreges and Cardin; the commercial face as seen at Donna Karan, Calvin Klein and Armani; Japanese avant garde structural designs of Kawakubo and Yamamoto; the deconstruction explored by Antwerp Six members Dries van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester; and the hi tech manifestation seen in Hussein Chalayan s wooden corsets. Fashion designers at the Opera, by Helena Matheopoulos. Thames Hudson, 35 A great crossover title, of equal appeal to both fashion and opera devotees, the book provides a fascinating insight into both worlds, each acting as a foil, its qualities throwing those of the other into sharp relief. Illustrated with design sketches and performance stills, it provides a better understanding of both worlds, by showing how they relate to one another. Matheopoulos looks at the work of several designers who have worked on opera productions; some, known for their exuberance and led by emotion, like Christian Lacroix, Zandra Rhodes and Gianni Versace, who were born to dress the opera, and others, known for more studied and considered designs, like Miuccia Prada and Viktor Rolf, who provide a new twist on the medium. Director Pierre Audi says in the chapter on Prada: "Her work is musical and innovative in its simplicity and power. It combines the right degree of poetry and meaning, which opera needs to thrive on if it is to survive the 21st century," raising an important point echoed throughout the book; that fashion gives opera the best of itself, helping to keep it fresh and relevant. This example of one art form, the more quotidian and accessible fashion, helping another that is more static and rarefied, is encapsulated in Armani s vignette on opera singers asking to keep their costumes; the wearability his designs are known for help to ground opera in the real world. At the other end of the spectrum, the opulence and unadulterated emotion of Lacroix s work match the spectacle and extremes of the opera experience, and it is opera which allows Lacroix to flourish, his flights of fancy showcased better than a runway can allow.